Eyesore shop battle hots up

The boarded up Halifax in Lytham

The boarded up Halifax in Lytham

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BATTLE-lines have been drawn in a fight to clean up a town centre store after a property giant was threatened with legal action.

Residents and councillors reacted with horror when the prominent former Halifax bank building, on Clifton Street, in Lytham, was boarded up earlier this year.

And after discussions with the leaseholder Your Move reached a stand-off, Fylde Council is now investigating whether it can use legal powers to order the company to clean up its act.

Coun Sue Fazackerley, the council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, became involved in the dispute after concerns were raised the boards would still be in place when the Open Golf arrives next year.

She told The Gazette: “The planning team is taking a second look at the property to investigate whether there is any chance under Section 215 regulations to take enforcement action.

“Meanwhile the residents and other traders of Lytham have to live with this eyesore and Your Move is fully aware of this.”

There was hope the boarding - which Your Move erected to secure the property – could be painted with a community mural, possibly by Lytham’s Park View 4 U group.

But Coun Fazackerley said: “The lady from Your Move is refusing to respond to any requests for permission to paint, cover or anything to reduce the negative impact of the current wood chip boarding.

“The landlady has given permission to paint or cover the boards but we need both parties to agree first.”

Your Move has insisted it sees leasing the property and bringing it back into use as a solution to the problem.

A company spokesman said: “We’ve spoken and corresponded with several parties obviously anxious to see a resolution in this matter.

“We remain committed in our attempts to secure disposal of the unit but despite our correspondence inviting the re-opening of negotiations our landlord has failed to respond, which leaves us having to take the steps we consider most appropriate to comply with our lease liabilities.”

Your Move took over the building’s lease when Halifax moved out, but only boarded the property up in August.