Councillors seek further action against eyesore

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FURTHER court action and heavier fines are being sought by WLDC to force the owners of The Goldmine pub in Market Rasen to restore the building.

At the same time Market Rasen Town Councillors are planning a protest outside the pub during the Extraordinary Popup Market, taking place this Monday, May 14.

Members of the local authority decided to take this course of action to publicly highlight their disgust at the lack of work being done to maintain the building - but building owner Sconsa Limited says it has gone into administration and “can’t act”.

The Queen Street building has been empty and derelict for a number of years and last week Market Rasen town councillors named it the town’s “premier eyesore”.

In March Lincoln Magistrates’ Court fined, Sconsa Limited, of Worcester Road, Bromsgrove, £750 after West Lindsey District Council prosecuted the firm for failing to act on a legal enforcement notice to carry out repairs.

But no work has been undertaken on the building and the district authority is now planning further prosecutions to ensure the building is restored.

A spokesman for West Lindsey told the Rasen Mail there is likely to be a further prosecution going to court in six to eight weeks as no work has been done and that if found guilty Sconsa could be fined up to £100 a day, backdated to March 7, as well as a further fine.

The spokesman added that West Lindsey District Council has corresponded with Sconsa Limited since the first enforcement notice was issued in June 2011, but said the Worcestershire firm has never responded.

If the company does not pay the fines, then the court is likely to send bailiffs in to recover the fines owed.

Speaking to the Rasen Mail yesterday, a Sconsa Limited spokesman said: “The company is in administration so we can’t act. We’re a casualty of the credit crunch.

“The pub is being sold – we’re looking for an investor. We’ve had some interest from people who want to take it over but no-one has the money.

“It’s the general banking crisis that’s to blame. The government keeps throwing money at the banks but the banks aren’t giving it to anyone.”

Discussing the derelict pub at its meeting last week, Market Rasen Town Councillors heard that squatters now inhabited the building at night and that while Sconsa Limited had been fined, the fine was a minor cost compared with an estimated “ten of thousands of pounds” Mayor Steve Bunney thought it would cost to bring back into use.

Sconsa Limited has also been issued with a PDPA enforcement, Prevention of Damage by Pests Act, for waste and rubbish in the rear yard. This was issued last week.