Bridge Garage owner given final chance to restore important listed building
A final chance is being given to Zubair Dean, owner of Marlborough’s Bridge Garage in London Road, to restore the currently condemned grade II listed building adjoining the site or face legal action.
Wiltshire Council has answered a plea from Marlborough town council for action to be taken to make the former housing accommodation on the site habitable again, and also to repair the adjoining former Antiques Emporium, which is not listed.
“As the site is obviously neglected repairs and maintenance wise, I will be writing to the owner to inform him of his obligation to maintain the listed building, as it is of national importance,” senior conservation officer Pippa Card says in a letter to town clerk Liam Costello.
“It is, quite obviously, within his financial interests to maintain the site and the buildings to avoid depreciation in their value. I hope this will prompt the owner into some form of action, as was suggested last year when he had spoken to a builder about various repairs.”
And she adds: “If the possibility of further action does arise, then the council will need to prove that it has attempted to seek repairs to the buildings before other options can be considered legally.”
Back in April, Wiltshire placed an emergency prohibition order on dilapidated No 111 London Road, which adjoins the Bridge Garage, whose high prices for petrol and diesel have been claimed to be the highest in the county.
This prevented the listed property from being used for housing, council officers boarding them up so that they cannot be entered. A notice posted on the door pointed out that the order could be appealed before a tribunal within 28 days, as from April 19.
The premises have since been monitored by the council’s planning and building control departments but, following the latest letter from Mr Costello, Wiltshire is now considering what step to take next.
Pippa Card points out that Mr Dean is aware “and hopefully concerned” about the condition of the buildings, although no visible repairs appear to have been initiated so far.
Wiltshire Council meanwhile has limited funds to pursue the control of listed buildings, which is why she is writing to Mr Dean before asking the council to consider other remedies to ensure the restoration of the property.