Thanet district Council press release
One of the final remaining eyesore properties in Cliftonville is set to be compulsorily purchased by Thanet District Council, after objections to the purchase were withdrawn.
The Warren Court Hotel at the top end of Dalby Square has been the victim of two serious arson attacks and has been derelict for a number of years. The former hotel was converted into a House in Multiple Occupation and then closed down some years ago.
Since its closure, it has attracted numerous complaints from local residents about a range of issues, including dumped rubbish and squatters.
As part of the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process, the council has to give a property owner every opportunity to deal with the issues or sell the property, before resorting to compulsorily purchasing it. The schemes proposed by prospective purchasers would have led to over development of the site, with the council unable to approve them.
Following this, the council applied to the Secretary of State for a CPO, but the owners objected to this, meaning that it had to go to a Public Inquiry.
That objection has now been withdrawn, three days before the Inquiry was due to begin, and the Secretary of State can go ahead and confirm the order. The council is now negotiating with the mortgagees’ representatives in London, who are acting on behalf of the freeholders, to try and secure an early change in ownership.
Cllr. Zita Wiltshire, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This is excellent news and I’m sure will be warmly welcomed by everyone who knows this property. It’s one of the last few major remaining eyesore properties in Thanet that we’ve been aiming to tackle, having already seen a number of the other major problems brought back into use, thanks to the council’s empty property strategy.
“It’s a shame that it has taken so long to come to this point, but unfortunately, as part of the Compulsory Purchase Order process, we have to be able to prove that we have given the owner every opportunity to sort the property out. This hasn’t happened and our determination to bring this property back into use has now paid off, with the withdrawal of this objection. Had this gone to Public Inquiry, I am confident that the result would’ve been in our favour, as our officers have worked extremely hard on this case, with a number of different departments cooperating to get the right result. We now look forward to the Secretary of State quickly confirming this order, so that we can move forward with the redevelopment of the site.”