Just an eyesore

PUBLISHED: 10:21 21 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:44 24 May 2010

Rock House. Yes, that is the name of the ruined building near Clevedon Pier, previously known as the Royal Pier Hotel. As most of us are aware, the building is no longer a house nor a hotel. Just an eyesore. Clevedon Town and North Somerset Councillor Fr

Rock House. Yes, that is the name of the ruined building near Clevedon Pier, previously known as the Royal Pier Hotel. As most of us are aware, the building is no longer a house nor a hotel. Just an eyesore.Clevedon Town and North Somerset Councillor Francis-Pester expresses views shared by many.However, I feel that to approach the latest planning application with more blind faith and optimism is naive. It could again prove to be the sort of message the owners of the building will be pleased with.Call it cynicism if you like, but the owners have for years dangled 'tongue in cheek' offerings to Clevedon and North Somerset Councils who have been sucked in with unacceptable games of catch me if you can.Those offerings have been kicked around the planning process for far too long and have become a laughing stock by those interested in the work by our decision takers on our behalf. I have yet to speak with any councillor who has any fire in their belly over this issue.Years ago, a certain John Gent sought to buy the building after it became the property of the present owners.His approach, whilst laudable in its objective, was not realistic in shape and I recall telling him at the time.But I do sincerely wish he could have been successful with his plans. The hands of individual councillors were very much tied at the time, but since then, there must surely have been windows of opportunity for imaginative councillors and officers to have imposed some threats of possible compulsory purchase on the dilatory approach by owners and their professional advisors.Perhaps when the current 'kite flying' application reaches a conclusion, it could include a stipulated condition that work must commence without undue delay. Clevedon has endured the carbuncle for long enough.OK, so what would I recommend if compulsory purchase was successful? I would use some of the millions of pounds that the district council has earmarked for housing purposes and create 25/30 dwellings for people who are in desperate need of homes. I understand that a half of that reserved money has now been allocated to be used for purposes other than housing. I am far from impressed with that decision which was recently taken.Derrick Lovering - Hallam Road, Clevedon

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