Council urges owners to take action over Frank James Hospital

By Ross Findon

Monday, July 21, 2014

 

UPDATED 15:17*

THE owners of a historic building at the centre of a conservation row have been urged to carry out repairs by the Isle of Wight Council.

The Friends of Frank James Hospital claimed the council had issued an urgent works notice, requiring the owners of the Grade II listed East Cowes building to carry out repairs or the council would step in, do the work and charge them.

The Isle of Wight Council said this morning (Monday) however that a formal notice had not been issued, although it has written to the owners, calling on them to carry out repairs to the Grade II listed building.

In 2007, Isle of Wight Council officers worked with English Heritage to draw up a schedule of works and issued an urgent works notice.

The notice called on developers to carry out repairs to securing the building and prevent vandalism.

The developers failed to carry out the work and the council stepped in, but was never paid and the cost has since been written off as bad debt.

Friends of Frank James member and chartered surveyor, Ian Pickard, said: "The Isle of Wight Council still needs to step up to the plate and secure a sustainable outcome for this important building.

"East Cowes should not have a listed building simply abandoned and left deteriorating in this way. It's in the council's interest to turn this site around."

Almost 3,000 people signed recent petition calling on the council to step in and protect the building.

*Following the earlier statement by the Isle of Wight Council, when the authority said no formal urgent works notice had been issued, executive member for planning and regulatory services Cllr Jonathan Bacon said: "The communication that has gone out is a 'formal warning’ of action which is, in effect, step one of the Urgent Works Notice process.

"Notices are ready to serve if the warning is not complied with."

He said the course of action was agreed more than six months ago, however the building's owners were given time to submit a planning applicartion.

That deadline had since elapsed and he said the process to issue an urgent works notice was underway.

Reporter: ross.findon@iwcp.co.uk

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