Safety fears over ‘dilapidated’ shops

AT RISK: Dewsbury Photo Centre owner David Crosland has been asked to consider leaving his shop because of safety fears over the state of the building. (d24101149)
AT RISK: Dewsbury Photo Centre owner David Crosland has been asked to consider leaving his shop because of safety fears over the state of the building. (d24101149)

THE last remaining tenant in a row of run-down shops has been urged to leave for his own safety.

When scaffolding went up around Dewsbury Photo Centre last week, owner David Crosland thought repairs were being made at last.

Instead, he got a letter asking him to think about moving out.

Mr Crosland said: “I’ve had scaffolding up inside the shop for six months. It started with part of the ceiling falling down in the back room. When they came to look at it, they found the joists from the upper floor were rotten.

“The next thing I know they’re going to have to put scaffolding round the shop to support the building.”

The ground floor, which includes 26-32 Westgate and 2-6 Union Street, was owned by Stayton Commercial Property Investments Limited.

But the company went into receivership in June 2009.

The letter suggesting relocation came from Hill Dickinson, the solicitors acting for the receivers.

It said: “The building is in a severely dilapidated state. The receivers are very concerned about the health and safety situation.”

It said the firm had no obligation or funds to make the building good, and Mr Crosland would be staying there at his own risk.

Kirklees Council has legal powers to order repairs to run-down or unsafe buildings, but it has issued no notices for 32 Westgate.

Mr Crosland said: “I think the scaffolding is just going to stay there until God knows when.”

He is taking legal advice on his position as he has not been asked to pay rent since the ceiling collapse.

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