Cinema owner told - it’s time to clean up your act
The appearance of Bexhill’s former cinema in Western Road has been cause for concern locally and now the council is taking legal action against the owner.
Rother District Council has asked Ormiston Trust to repair and spruce up the property but so far this has not happened.
Resident Carole Woodland contacted the Observer to say: “There is an urgent need for the council to show residents it is taking action. I am told by one source there is a 215 Order in place now after many years. Has this been confirmed by the council, and when are they going to take moves to enforce? I cannot be alone in feeling very sad each time I walk past.”
RDC’s head of planning Tim Hickling said: “Last summer we served a notice on Bexhill Cinema (also known as the Redstack Playhouse) requiring the owner to replace render and rotting timber and to repaint the property as it has fallen into a state of significant disrepair.
“This has not been carried out, so we are beginning legal action against the owners to ensure the work is completed.
“RDC is committed to ensuring Bexhill and the wider district is a pleasant place to live, work and visit and we will not tolerate property owners who create serious eyesores in our towns.”
Campaigner Andy Crotty who has been working towards the re-opening of the cinema commented: “I think it looks disgusting. It gets worse and worse.”
The issue was also discussed at Wednesday’s meeting of the Town Team when members heard an update from Graham Burgess, Rother’s Head of Regeneration and Estates.
Chair Hillary Randall, of Silver Nutmeg, said: “The dirty front and poor state of the facade really bring the street down. Because of its condition it attracts fly posting and litter. It’s a pity that the charity who own it don’t show a little more respect for the town’s people who have to live and work alongside their neglected investment.”
Patrick Stappleton, of Redwell Estates, vice chair of the Town Team, felt it was “great news” that the council was preparing to enforce its order, and the agent acting for the owners had tidied it somewhat, and this was “a major milestone” considering the previous lack of action.
The Town Team is working on tidying up street scenes to the benefit of businesses and residents. This includes empty shops, and Patrick said: “The local agents I’ve talked to are once again going to speak to their client landlords - but where it is just a bit of post to collect they will go and move it themselves. So everyone please let me know of any eyesores that they see, just call me at Redwell Estates.”
He has also been working with the council to provide a Code of Practice for commercial landlords and commercial agents in the town. This will help to ensure that properties are clean and tidy even if they are empty.
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Weather for Bexhill-on-Sea
Friday 24 May 2013
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