Calls to tackle ‘eyesore’ building

Old Co-Op building
Old Co-Op building

Could council chiefs place a Compulsory Purchase Order on a historic building in Kirkintilloch gutted by fire more than six years ago?

That’s the question being asked by a concerned resident over the former Co-op building in Townhead.

The Herald recently reported on the growing calls from members of the public for something to be done about the burned-out building.

The property has been empty since the blaze in February 2007, leading to numerous complaints from residents and business owners that it has become an ‘eyesore’.

One Herald reader said: “I seem to remember that the ground floor had already been boarded up for a considerable time prior to 2007.

“Does East Dunbartonshire Council not have the power to place a Compulsory Purchase Order on the property due to the dangerous condition of the building?

“When there are high winds and heavy rain debris is blown out of the top floor, where windows and the roof are open to the elements.

“At the corner on Willowbank, heavy rain pours from burst drainpipes.”

The Herald reader added: “There is a gap in the large trees at the side of the building and blue bags of rubbish have been lying there for months.

“Do the owners of the building, or the council, carry out regular inspections inside and outside to check for vermin, rubbish and anything else?”

Residents have previously made suggestions for the site, including a Marks and Spencer store.

The building is owned by CJL Properties.

Chris Lessani , from CJL Properties, recently revealed that they have approached Marks and Spencer, but they turned the offer down.

He said CJL hope to have more information on the future of the building next year.

Thomas Glen, East Dunbartonshire Council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “The building was identified through the Kirkintilloch Town Centre Masterplan consultation as a location that could be improved due to its current appearance and an opportunity for redevelopment.

“The site is privately owned and the owner of the building is currently promoting the site for sale via an agent. As the owner is a willing seller Compulsory Purchase Order powers cannot be enacted.

“Building Standards have not deemed the building as dangerous, however, the council is monitoring the building and

the land owner has previously been contacted to remind them of their obligation to ensure the building is safe and secure.”

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