Owners ordered to fix fire-ravaged Weston hotel in six months
PUBLISHED: 06:16 14 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:17 14 August 2019
Repairs must be carried out to a fire-ravaged Weston hotel within six months, or else the owners may face court action.
The former Lynton Hotel was wrecked by a blaze in 2015 and subsequent attempts to get permission to transform it into flats have been rebuffed by North Somerset Council amid fears they would tarnish the area's appearance.
But the authority has warned BZH Properties enough is enough and say the eyesore must be tackled, with trespassers spotted lighting fires inside the premises,
Cllr John Crockford-Hawley, the council's heritage and regeneration champion, said: "This dilapidated former hotel has suffered vandalism and other forms of challenging behaviour for too long."
The former hotel, in Madeira Road, burned down in 2015 - when for sale boards were up outside - leaving the structure in a poor state of repair.
Planning permission for 48 flats was sought in 2016. But the scheme was rejected, as was a scaled back version for 40 flats 12 months later.
The decision was appealed, but a planning inspector agreed with North Somerset the plans were out of keeping with the area in May 2018 - four months after a second fire.
North Somerset this week served an enforcement notice on BZH Properties ordering it to act and make 'substantial' improvements to the building's appearance.
Repairing external timbers and stone work, repainting, replacing broken windows, clearing gutters, removing rubbish and digging up overgrown weeds are among the requirements listed in the order.
BZH Properties has six months to comply.
If it fails to act, North Somerset Council can take legal action.
All replacement items and materials used need to be 'like for like' to match the existing ones.
In addition, the council is in discussions with the owners about putting up hoardings around the site to make it more secure.
The metal fencing previously put up has failed to stop trespassers getting on to the site, according to neighbours.
Cllr Crockford-Hawley said: "I am pleased enforcement action is now being taken to encourage a more positive appreciation of the hillside's Victorian character."