Call to clear up County Durham grot spots

Coun Paul Stradling outside Jumping Jacks, Warren Street, Horden, one of a number of buildings in the area that have been put on blight site list.
Coun Paul Stradling outside Jumping Jacks, Warren Street, Horden, one of a number of buildings in the area that have been put on blight site list.
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A HIT list of grot spots is being drawn up for action as community leaders step up their efforts to improve the streets.

Durham County Council is in the early stages of launching its blight site programme, which gives councillors the chance to nominate eyesores.

Former Bryan Adams ? garage, Blackhills Road, Horden.

Former Bryan Adams ? garage, Blackhills Road, Horden.

It is being led by the authority’s planning officers and could see them ask the owners of the unsightly plots and buildings to clear them, or consider how enforcement powers can be used to tidy up the property.

Among the first to be put forward is the Trust building in Warren Street, Horden.

The large imposing block, once used as a pub and also formerly known as Jumping Jacks, has been abandoned for about a decade and now has a tree growing out of one of its chimneys, pigeons living inside and broken windows.

It is believed to be owned by Hartlepool-based Capanac Leisure, which is listed by Companies House as in liquidation.

Former Tony Carr's building supplies, Dene Steet, Horden.

Former Tony Carr's building supplies, Dene Steet, Horden.

The Trust has been nominated by Councillor Paul Stradling, along with the former Bryan Adams garage site in Blackhills Road and the disused former building supplies yard in Dene Street.

Coun Stradling said he had tried to contact the owners of the Trust, but without success.

He added: “I’ve had several complaints over several years in response to the condition of Jumping Jacks.

“In the past, I have contacted our structural engineers and they have done surveys and apparently, although whilst it’s not in an attractive condition, they are satisfied it meets the safety requirements.

 “We are exploring what we can do about these places.”

He added the former garage and yard sites could be prime areas for development, to businesses looking to set up near where the proposed new railway station could be built.

A Horden resident who contacted Coun Stradling to complain about the Trust, but did not wish to be named, said: “It’s an arson waiting to happen.

“Somebody needs to do something about it.

“It’s just embarrassing and if it can’t be used or sold, why don’t they bulldoze it?”

The council has said anyone who wants to suggest other blight sites should contact the ward councillor for the area.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham