A pigeon-infested building in the heart of Hucknall could finally be repaired after the owners were prosecuted for failing to improve its appearance.
Residents said the dilapidated building at 1a Albert Street is a known spot for drug users, with up to 40 needles found during a sweep.
It is also caked in pigeon excrement, graffiti, and residents fear it is “a dangerous eyesore” which has become a playground for youngsters.
Ashfield District Council has been fighting with the owners – Trent Properties Limited – since November 2017 following a number of complaints.
The council said the building – which has been empty for some years – is in a poor condition and has become home to a flock of pigeons.
The local authority said it contacted the owners requesting scheduled work to be carried out within three months, but they failed to do so.
Despite warnings and a fixed penalty notice of £100, which they failed to pay, the council had no option but to take them to court.
In their absence, the council said the company were found guilty, fining them £2,000 with a victim surcharge of £170.
They were also ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £484.40, and must carry out the work on the property within 28 days.
Baker Paul Harris, 60, who lives next door to the building, said: “It is an eyesore. Some new flats have been built across the road and that is all they are seeing – pigeons.
“It has been like that for five years, ever since I moved in. It is not very nice living next to it. When I come off working nights all you can hear is pigeons. It does affect your sleep.
“It needs boarding up. I think at one time it is used to be a butchers.”
Lorraine Pendlebury, 52, who has lived on Albert Street for seven years, said: “It is filthy – birds are living in there and rats go through the jitty. They need to knock it down because when they first cleared it they found about 40 needles and kids do go under there and it is dangerous.
“I think they should be fined more.”
Support nurses Kerry Saxelby, 43, and Rebecca Wilshaw, 42, who live in Hucknall and regularly pass by the building felt it was “unsafe” and an “eyesore.”
Mrs Saxelby said: “It is a total eyesore. It is on an access road so a lot of people do see it.”
Mrs Wilshaw added: “It looks unsafe. There are a lot of kids that play around here so if anything happens. I don’t think fining them will sort it out. I think it needs to be more.”
Talking about the prosecution, Councillor Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council, said: “The council have a number of dilapidated buildings on our caseload, and although some of these owners chose not to engage, we will find them to ensure that these buildings don’t remain a blight on our communities.
“This prosecution is a brilliant result for Hucknall residents and shows that we take disrepair seriously and are committed to cracking down on these rogue property owners. We want them to know that we are coming for them.”
Nottinghamshire Live tried to contact Trent Properties Ltd for a comment, but were unable to do so.
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