A DERELICT building which has been left partially demolished will give tourists a terrible impression of the town.
That’s the message from angry local councillors this week as legislation supposed to force the owner to clear the site of the former factory in Victoria Road fails again – and the local authority serves another notice requiring action to be taken.
And having rumbled on since the start of the year when Scottish Borders Council first made the dilapidated property the subject of an enforcement order, Councillor Stuart Marshall says the situation is now worse than ever.
He blasted: “I am being contacted by many members of the public as to when this building will actually be demolished. SBC served a demolition order in January with 90 days’ notice to complete the works. This has clearly lapsed and I am absolutely furious that work has ground to a halt.”
And highlighting the building’s prominent location, he added: “Here we are in the height of our tourist season with many visitors to Wilton Lodge Park, not to mention its close proximity to the community hospital.
“What must people think when they come through the gates of the park and see a very modern building like the hospital, then a few yards down the road see a pigeon-infested eyesore like that?”
These sentiments were echoed by Councillor Zandra Elliot, who said: “It seems to have just been abandoned and as we head into the tourist season it is going to have a serious visual impact. It actually looked better before they started to demolish it and I hope it is completed very soon.”
A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said the property came to its attention due to its visual impact on the area and a notice was served to address those concerns. However, the owner decided to remove the building and obtained a demolition warrant in March last year.
The spokesperson added: “The demolition was not completed, resulting in the building being in a semi-demolished condition. As the terms of the warrant are not being met a notice under section 27 of the Building (Scotland) Act was served on June 24, requiring the demolition to be completed and the site cleared by August 19.”