Property owner prosecuted for failing to maintain Grade II town centre building
The owner of a listed property in Boston has been prosecuted by Boston Borough Council for failing to carry out proper maintenance of their building.
DCFM Quotas Limited has been ordered by Boston Magistrates courts to pay almost £4,500 in a fine and legal costs.
The property at 15 High Street, Boston (also known as 1 Bridge Street) is a Grade II statutorily listed building, due to its historical and architectural importance. It is also located within the Boston Conservation Area that covers the centre of Boston, which is recognised by Historic England as an area of special historical importance.
The Council first identified that the building was not being properly maintained following an inspection in September 2019 and the Council requested the owner of the building to undertake the necessary renovations and redecoration of the building.
After initial negotiations with the property owner failed to result in improvements being carried out, the Council had no alternative but to serve a formal notice to legally require that the necessary works were undertaken to improve the appearance of the property and help preserve it from further decay.
The owner failed to comply with the requirements of the legal notice and despite repeated attempts by the Council to secure the renovation of the building, no works were carried out, resulting in the Council taking the owner to Court.
On November 18, 2022, a representative of the owner of the building, DCFM Quotas Limited attended Court and pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to comply with the requirements of the legal notice although he had previously pleaded not guilty at an earlier court hearing.
The court fined DCFM Quotas Limited £675 and awarded the Council its full legal costs of £3,804, a total of £4,479.
Cllr Nigel Welton, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning at Boston Borough Council said: "Boston town centre has lots of historically important buildings, seen by hundreds of people daily as they shop or drive through the town. Therefore, it is vitally important they are properly maintained not only because they are heritage assets, but as part of providing a positive impression for the street scene of the town.
"This is a building which was not being properly maintained. Despite repeated attempts by the council to get work started, the property owner failed to do so and the council had no other choice but to take the owner to court.
"I am pleased the court found in the Council's favour. It sends a clear message to other property owners that we will take action if processes to secure the renovation of these important buildings are ignored."
The building is still required to be renovated and the Council will now be seeking that the owner of the property carry out the necessary works so that the building is restored.