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Charles Road property : After

HBC’s ‘Grotbusters’ scheme

The council launched its ‘Grotbusters’ initiative in 2000 as a response to the town’s high number of run down and derelict buildings. It uses a piece of planning law (Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) to approach landowners to ask them to tidy up and improve the look of their properties. If property owners fail to do so, they can be served with an Enforcement Notice, which can lead to a prosecution and fine, initially of up to £1,000, then a cumulative fine of £100 a day if they do not do the work.


Charles Road property: Before

What do you think about this initiative? Does it make sense? What if the property owner can’t afford the renovation and repairs? Is it a good use of council powers? Do you live near a derelict property? Does the fine system make sense to you? 

Leader of the Council, Councillor Peter Chowney said: “We want our seafront to reflect well on our wonderful town and we expect property owners to look after their buildings. We make no apology for fining irresponsible property owners who let their properties fall into disrepair.”

Cllr Chowney added, “The seafront has improved dramatically over the last seventeen years, and we were pleased to see more work still taking place as a result of Grotbuster enforcement. Nevertheless, we were able to identify more, where warning notices will be served. Since 2000, we’ve improved 830 buildings, structures and land through the Grotbusters process. Hastings Council has offered advice to Government, other councils and various organisations on how to implement similar strategies.”

If you have a derelict property where you live, go to the council’s website www.hastings.gov.uk where you can report it via your “My Hastings” account.

Eversfield Place property : After

Eversfield Place property : After

Eversfield Place property : Before

Eversfield Place property : Before

Posted 09:59 Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 In: Home Ground


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  1. Nigel

    It’s a shame that Hastings Borough Council neglects its own property and has done so for decades, capping it all by defrauding its own residential lessees in a determined and seriously obstinate way. Also a very great shame that none of the culprits has been prosecuted or removed from office – YET . . .

    Comment by Nigel — Friday, Oct 27, 2017 @ 06:41

  2. Zelly Restorick

    Dear Richard, I posted this article with exactly this situation in mind – asking for Comments, aware that not every house in disrepair is due to a thoughtless, can’t care less owner. Thank you for taking the time to write. Zelly

    Comment by Zelly Restorick — Thursday, Oct 19, 2017 @ 07:27

  3. Richard

    It’s all very well reporting what you think maybe a derelict building, but do you know the circumstance behind why it’s supposedly derelict?

    Maybe its a property locked into a Will dispute, or waiting on a drawn out planning difficulty, or a pensioner who cannot afford to repair the house they’ve lived in for years.

    Or, as in our case, a place we bought 10 months ago, marked out by the Grotbuster scheme 10 years ago, with a notice served on the previous owner to clean up within 6 months or face fines, but then never followed it up with said previous owner, forgotten about until he passed away and our solicitor picked up on it when we bought it, and then you started to remember the place.

    Only for the place to get so bad after 10 more years of neglect, had it not been in a conservation area, it would be much cheaper to knock it down and start again, quickly building an efficient modern alternative.

    But then the new place wouldn’t have the character and history we were after, or the area we wanted, or even the atmosphere the council wants to create?

    Renovation to conservation standards takes lots of extra time, additional funds and a true understanding of how to do it without bodging over to look alright, but needing more work two years down the line.

    This coupled with us having employed the wrongly recommended builder, who promised everything, then bodging it to a high standard of the best cowboy, at our expense.

    We now have just enough funds to buy materials and do it ourselves, yes I have the skills and no weekend life now.

    But I digress, this comment is not a pity me saga, just a warning to all to make sure you have the right people doing the work, and double check, I didn’t due to a recommendation, and I never thought it could happen to me given my trade experience but lack of time.

    We will get it done, it will just take longer, and luckily we have patient understanding neighbours, thanks folks we appreciate it!

    And also to say to the council, perhaps before you lean on the house owners, who may indeed be in a certain difficult position to clean up there act.

    How about dealing with the local rubbish dump (wheelie bins) opposite our house meant for the locals in the street, and not for people who turn up car loaded instead of going to the local dump.

    Not only does it make the place look bad, it makes the local area unpleasant, and you know it happens but do nothing to prevent it, are the home owners easier to target or catch?

    Comment by Richard — Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 @ 23:16

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