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Owner of eyesore former pottery ordered to pay £30,000 fine and clean-up site

Published: Friday, 11th August 2017

The owner of a derelict and arson-hit former pottery has been ordered to pay a £30,000 fine, demolish buildings and tidy-up the site, after being prosecuted by city council planners.

Enforcement action taken by Stoke-on-Trent City Council has placed a raft of conditions on the site of the Lord Nelson Pottery Works in Commercial Road, Hanley. Now owner Peachey Properties Limited must complete the works, by court order, to bring the site back into use.

The works, which must take place within the next 12 months, include:

  • Demolishing a number of outbuildings that have been repeatedly targeted by vandals and arsonists.
  • Repairing and reinstating the exterior of the remaining building, including brickwork, roofing, windows and door frames, doors, glazing, guttering, sills and lintels, with accurate replicas of the original design.
  • Removing all demolition material, tyres, vegetation, rubbish and waste from the entire site.
  • Securing the site with a 2.4m high solid wooden hoarding.

The council successfully prosecuted the owner at a hearing at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on Monday (7 August). Peachey Properties Limited has also been ordered to pay a court fine of £26,693, a £2,699 victim surcharge and the council’s costs of £500.

Councillor Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: “This prosecution sends out a tough message that we will not tolerate owners who neglect their buildings and leave them to blight our wonderful city.

“This site has been vacant for a number of years and has been targeted by vandals and arsonists in the past. We want it tidied up, made secure and for the area to be brought back into constructive use.

“The works sit opposite the first housing zone in the city to start being developed, a really exciting scheme that is creating new homes and bringing families to the area. It is vital that these works are completed swiftly and we can assure residents that we are taking action to see that it does.”

It is the second time that the authority has prosecuted the site owners, after successfully securing court fines in January 2016.

Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage said: “We’re serious about protecting our city’s heritage buildings – it’s an issue I have campaigned on for some time. At the end of last year we created a list of historically important buildings that we are looking at as a priority to see preserved and restored.

“In this case, the original site dates back to 1758, and the Nelson works built a significant reputation for their manufacture of jugs. The site has an important place in Stoke-on-Trent’s history.

“We vowed that we would contact and work with private landowners as much as possible to make this happen. Enforcement action is a last resort, but we can and will use it, if it means our city’s significant buildings can be restored and communities improved.”

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