Frustrated councillors 'sick to death' of critics of stalled developments
The derelict old hydraulic tower and pump house next to the Lord Line building on St. Andrew's Dock, Hull
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 19 Jul 2017
City councillors want to be given new powers to deal with landowners who fail to get development schemes off the ground.
Senior politicians at the Guildhall are pressing for new legislation to be passed by the Government over the issue.
The move has been triggered by continuing frustration over the the lack of progress at a number of sites in the city owned by the Manor Property Group.
They include the former Clarence Mills site in the city centre and a number of derelict buildings at St Andrew's Dock in west Hull.
The latter includes the old Lord Line trawler company offices and the nearby dock pump house.
Manor recently submitted planning applications to demolish both buildings claiming they were beyond viable repair and pose a safety risk.
However, the company has not put forward any redevelopment proposals following the expiry of previous planning consent at both sites.
Councillor Martin Mancey
Now council leader Steve Brady and cabinet member Martin Mancey have asked the authority's planning committee to lobby ministers and the Local Government Association over a change in the law.
They say current planning legislation is "weak" and prevents councils from taking meaningful action over strategic sites in private ownership where landowners are either not willing or able to get approved schemes off the ground.
Speaking at the planning committee, Councillor John Fareham said: "I am sick to death of people accusing planning committees of being roadblocks to development.
"That might be the case at some councils but not here. We give approvals and it is up to developers to deliver."
The council recently issued Manor with enforcement notices relating to four different derelict buildings owned by the company on St Andrew's Dock.
Manor has until August 6 to comply with the notices, which require the properties to be boarded up and made secure.
However, council planning manager Alex Codd said the current applications to demolish the Lord Line and pump house at St Andrew's Dock meant the enforcement deadlines for both would probably be extended until after the long-term fate of the buildings was decided.
The demolition applications are expected to be determined at a committee meeting in September.