Crackdown on run down buildings

Councillor Jeremy Birch on the steps of a property in Hastings
Image caption Councillor Jeremy Birch has noted down every building needing repair

Landlords who allow buildings to fall into disrepair in an East Sussex resort are receiving letters from the council.

Hastings Borough Council said owners faced serious action if they allowed seafront buildings to become run down.

The leader of the council, Jeremy Birch, has noted down every building needing repair or redecoration.

Owners will receive a letter encouraging them to smarten up their buildings. Failure to respond could result in enforcement action.

Mr Birch said: "If you own a building in our town you have a social responsibility for its upkeep.

"The council will remind you of your responsibility and if you don't accept that we have the power to compel you to, you can be taken to court, fined or even be forced to pay after we do the work on your behalf.

"The seafront is the town's shop window. If it looks dowdy and scruffy day trippers or potential business investors will just drive on by and go somewhere else.

"We can't afford for that to happen. In difficult economic times there is even more competition for visitors and inward investors so we have to make sure the town looks as good as it can."

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