East Northamptonshire Council’s (ENC) Planning team has taken direct action to improve the appearance of a rundown building in Higham Ferrers this month.
The former shop on the High Street has two large windows and a door, all of which had been boarded up for many years.
ENC issued a notice to remove the boards on the property, which is in the Higham Ferrers Conservation Area and attached to a listed building.
The notice (under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act) was ignored by the owner, so ENC exercised powers (under The Act) to carry out the works themselves.
ENC Leader, Councillor Steven North, said: “ENC has a duty to protect the visual appearance of the district and has robust enforcement powers to do so. These will normally only be used when attempts at negotiating a resolution are unsuccessful, but our Planning Enforcement team is always on the case and we will always enforce when it is appropriate to do so.
“33 High Street had been boarded up for years, to the detriment of the appearance of the area. Along with contractors, officers attended to remove the wooden panels and re-glaze one of the windows in compliance with the notice. We will now proceed to recover the costs of our action from the owner of the property to ensure that there is no loss to the public purse.”