19-lavender-hillI’ve posted about 19 Lavender Hill, the abandoned, eyesore, building on the corner of Garfield Road on a couple of occasions before and have had plenty of correspondence from residents (both near and far to the building) about it. But it still remains an very obvious blight on the road.

In order to provide a brief follow-up the wheels are still, slowly, turning. Having failed – through pressure and incentive – to get the original owners to bring the site back in use the council used its powers of compulsory purchase to buy the building. It as then to be sold on, but because we wanted to ensure the new owners would have not only the ability to renovate and bring the building back into use but would also have the legal obligation to do this quickly the sale was not as straightforward as most property transactions.

However, I’ve been told by council officers that there is now a buyer who have a track record of bringing properties like this back into use. They and the council are currently completing the legal side of the sale and (though I am very wary of tempting fate on this) we should see the site smartening up in the early part of next year and back in use by next summer or autumn.

19-lavender-hillOne of the ugliest buildings in Shaftesbury ward has to be 19 Lavender Hill. I can’t remember seeing the building in use in all the time I’ve lived here. Indeed, thinking about all the changes Lavender Hill has seen the dilapidated building on the corner of Garfield Road and Lavender Hill is one of the few constants.

But hopefully that will soon come to an end.  I, along with council colleagues, have been pushing for action to be taken for some time and the building will soon have new owners who will, hopefully, rid it of pigeons and restore it to use.

The original owners had been under the threat of a compulsory purchase order for some time, and had delayed by making some moves at restoration.  However, when it became clear that no long term change was going to come the council used it’s compulsory purchase powers.  That the council made a Compulsory Purchase Order shows how bad the building had got, since there is a policy preference to working with landlords and freeholder to bring a building back into use rather than forcing a sale.

The building is now owned by the council, and will soon be put back into the market with conditions the building is renovated and re-occupied in a reasonable time.  Quite what impact this has on the local pigeon population remains to be seen, but for humans it should see an improvement in the street scene of that bit of Lavender Hill.