More than 100 buildings on one of the main roads through Grimsby and Cleethorpes are looking a lot smarter thanks to a North East Lincolnshire Council campaign.
North East Lincolnshire Council launched Operation Gateway in June 2020 to improve the street scene on the A180 between Riby Square in Grimsby and Suggitt’s Lane in Cleethorpes.
The project is now coming to an end and has seen scores of property owners respond positively to calls to fix up their business premises and residential buildings.
Breaking the work into three phases, project officers contacted the owners of 227 buildings in Cleethorpe Road, Freeman Street and Grimsby Road.
To date, improvements have been carried out at 130 buildings in the target area.
Some of the problems put right include window frames, broken or missing render and flaking paintwork.
The Council’s aim with the project is to grow business confidence in this part of town by encouraging property owners to make physical improvements to their buildings and make the area more attractive.
Most property owners take care of their buildings, but some properties were neglected and posed a risk to the wider area.
Problems included windows almost falling out of their frames, shrubs growing in brickwork, missing gutters and drainpipes and vegetation in the gutters and on the roof.
Not only are dilapidated buildings an eyesore, they can also pose a risk to passers-by, harm the value of surrounding properties, and become beacons for criminality and anti-social behaviour.
Some property owners had set an example by already making changes before the project started, but many responded to calls from the Council to fix up their properties.
As well as working with property owners to encourage them to make improvements, the officers liaised with colleagues in the planning team to look at ways to bring some neglected buildings back into use.
Cllr Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for Safer and Stronger Communities at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“Since we launched Operation Gateway in June 2020, we’ve seen big improvements to the street scene along one of the main routes through Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
“I’m grateful to all the property owners who responded to our calls to fix up their buildings and improve the street scene in Cleethorpe Road and Grimsby Road.
“For so many to get behind what we’re doing is an excellent result and I’d like to thank the project officers for the difference they’ve made.”
Cllr Callum Procter, portfolio holder for Economic Growth, Housing and Tourism, added:
“We have big ambitions for North East Lincolnshire and the A180 is the gateway to the towns of Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
“There’s a massive amount of passing trade, we’re capitalising on that and making a positive impression.
“I’m grateful to the project officers for their dedication and persistence with Operation Gateway and to the many property owners for making the place look better.
“These are great results and show that by working together we can build business confidence and make it a place to be proud of.”
Operation Gateway is split into phases, with each phase lasting about six months:
- Riby square to Humber Street, including parts of Freeman Street
- Humber Street to Park Street
- Park Street to Lestrange Street/Suggitt’s Lane
- Officers wrote to all properties in each area to explain the aims and objectives of the projects.
Advice was offered to owners of properties who needed to make improvements, followed by legal warnings and ultimately court proceedings if they fail to take action.
Section 215 (s215) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows local authorities in certain circumstances, to take steps requiring land and buildings to be cleaned up when its condition adversely affects the amenity of the area. In these circumstances, the authority may serve a notice on the owner requiring that the situation be remedied.
Once issued on the responsible party, these notices set out the steps that need to be taken, and the time within which they must be carried out.
If not, the authority has powers under s219 to undertake the clean-up works themselves and to recover the costs from the landowner.
Officers also used a Building Act Notice – S79 for (Ruinous and Dilapidated) – where Section 215 was not enough to bring about the improvements to buildings with significant exterior damage.