Councillor Elwyn Watkins welcomes enforcement order

July 13, 2007 12:00 AM

Councillor Elwyn Watkins has welcomed the news that Rochdale Planning Department is set to take enforcement action against the owners of a derelict garage in Whitworth Road - Councillor Watkins has received several complaints about the site adjacent to the Tesco Express store.

Councillor Watkins said: "Something has to be done about the site.

"Personally, I would like to see it taken over by Tesco to provide more parking space.

"I would also like to see the council given more powers to deal with these situations, allowing it to prosecute people who leave their land a mess."

The order warns the owners to either demolish the building or take action, including security measures, if it is not in a reasonable condition.

If it fails to do so, the council has powers to carry out the work and send the owners a bill.

The building has been vandalised and also set alight twice this year and is said to have become a favourite haunt for underage drinkers.

The Manhattan Corporation, which is responsible for the upkeep of the derelict garage, is due to be served with an order warning it to clean up or secure the site, had intended to sell the site for retail use but a planning application was refused by councillors last year.

Its appeal to the Secretary of State was refused on traffic grounds.