Operation Restore orders historic building owners to sort it!

The owners of run down historic buildings in Plymouth are being targeted as part of an initiative to make them carry out immediate urgent repairs.

Operation Restore is being launched this week with the aim tackling the worst maintained historic buildings in Plymouth.

The five historic buildings being targeted are;

• Palace Theatre and former Great Western Hotel next door, Union Street, Stonehouse

• The former Grand Theatre Public House at 162 Union Street in Stonehouse

• 160 Union Street (vacant shop premises), Stonehouse

• Raglan Barracks Gatehouse, Raglan Road, Devonport

• The former Mechanics Institute and more recently Pot Black Snooker Hall, 18 to 20 Duke Street, Devonport

Councillor Brian Vincent, Cabinet for the Environment said: “These are all important and valued historic buildings,that have been allowed to deteriorate to a totally unacceptable degree.

“With the exception of Raglan Barracks Gatehouse, they are also in designated conservation areas, and letting these neighbourshoods down. People who live there should not have to tolerate looking at the shocking state of these buildings, day after day, week after week and year after year.

Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet member for Assets and Finance added: “We have some extremely exciting developments on the cards here in Plymouth and considerable interest from investors who are waking up to what Plymouth has to offer.

“But these buildings are doing the city no favours. The owners have repeatedly failed to act responsibly, so we are instigating this operation which will help restore pride back into these areas. People, rightly, are constantly complaining about them – so we are taking action.”

All five buildings are very seriously neglected, and their owners have declined to improve them, despite requests from the Council. As result the Council is taking enforcement action.

The external improvement works the Council is asking for is for the minimum works necessary to improve the buildings’ appearance to an acceptable degree.

The minimum necessary period for compliance will be set out in the enforcement notices, which will be issued under Section 215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.

The Council can use additional enforcement powers if necessary to require further structural improvements to the buildings if necessary.