Freeholder fined for failing to do repairs

177a Queens Road, Hastings
177a Queens Road, Hastings

A freehold owner has been fined for failing to make extensive repairs to the exterior of a property in Hastings.

Shiplu Hoque was summonsed to Hastings Magistrates Court on July 13 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice served on October 23, 2013 by Hastings Borough Council.

The council served the notice under S215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as part of the Grotbusting enforcement initiative, requiring that within six months of November 22, 2013 extensive repairs and repainting works should be carried out to the exterior of 177a Queens Road, Hastings.

Despite legal notices sent to Hoque, the building remained an eyesore and in a dilapidated state.

Hoque failed to attend court and was found guilty in his absence. He was fined the maximum fine of £1,000 with £333 costs and £100 victim surcharge. Cllr Peter Chowney, the council’s lead member for regeneration said: “Formal enforcement action is always a last resort as most owners of grotty properties are willing to cooperate when contacted by the Grotbusting team.

“This latest prosecution demonstrates just how committed we are to improving run-down buildings in the interest of the town’s environment, its residents and businesses.

“Mr Hoque will still be expected to complete the improvement works and failure to do so will incur further enforcement action.

“The council’s Grotbuster scheme has a zero tolerance approach to shabby and derelict structures, land and buildings and considers the initiative to be a core part of the council’s function and a key element in the town’s regeneration.”

The scheme was set up in 2000 to combat run-down and derelict buildings and to date 630 premises in the town have been improved. In April, the council’s senior planning enforcement officer Marcus Berrisford was invited to give a presentation to the Department for Communities and Local Government.