Scheme results in facelift for 500th property

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A COUNCIL initiative to improve buildings in the town that are deemed eyesores, has given a makeover to the 500th property.

The Grotbuster campaign, started in 2000, uses section 213 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which gives Hastings Borough Council enforcement powers.

Work on 17 Pevensey Road, St Leonards, was recently completed, giving the property, which was in a state of disrepair before HBC’s Grotbuster team stepped in, a fresh new look.

Councillor Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration and planning at Hastings Borough Council, said: “The initiative started back in June 2000 with officers and councillors walking along the seafront to identify targets for improvement.

“The figures show that since it all started, close to four properties a month have been improved across the borough as a direct result of intervention by the Grotbusters. The effect of Grotbusters on the borough has been profound, reversing decline and contributing to the town’s regeneration.” Though formal enforcement action is a last resort, 402 enforcement notices have been issued so far along with many more written or verbal warnings of potential action.

Prosecutions by the Grotbusters have yielded in the region of £70,000 in fines and costs. Current properties served with enforcement notices include Hastings Cottage on The Ridge, the old Halton Post Office on the corner of Priory Avenue and Mount Pleasant Road, a property in Tackleway and prominent seafront premises in Eversfield Place and Marina.