Former chip shop in Beaumont Leys, Leicester, facing demolition
Legal action is being taken to get a dilapidated former chip shop repaired.
The property in Home Farm Square, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, is owned by the city council but leased out to a tenant on a 99-year deal.
It has fallen into disrepair, been targeted by vandals and arsonists, and been the source of numerous complaints from residents that it is an eyesore over the past three or so years.
The council said it had repeatedly tried unsuccessfully to contact the tenant, who is responsible for the premises under his lease, but understands he has been living in Hong Kong for several years.
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Now, after spending £11,000 dealing with security and safety issues at the building, the council has decided to issue a legal notice.
It gives the owner six months to repair the building. If he does not, it will cancel the lease, which has 67 years to run, and demolish it.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby announced the legal action at his cabinet's executive meeting yesterday.
He said: "It is an eyesore and it is a pain. It is let by a tenant who has lived in Hong Kong for some years now.
"He has not been on the scene and done anything about it.
"I am aware our property section has on numerous occasions had to go, with building services, to deal with pressing issues.
"We should take effective action if the tenant is not prepared to meet his responsibilities.
"Legally we could take the building back and demolish it."
The building sits next to a Surestart centre and manager Vibha Gohil said: "The chip shop backs on to one of our buildings and vandalism has been a problem there for a while.
"It would be brilliant if the council can do something about it and improve the look of the area."
Beaumont Leys ward councillor Vi Dempster said: "There can be nothing worse than walking out of your front door and seeing such an eyesore. I am glad the council is taking action.
"If it came to demolition we may be able to sell the land and get a couple of houses on it or we could perhaps give it to the Surestart centre to use as a play area."
If the council does demolish the building, officials say it is unlikely they will be able to reclaim the costs from the tenant though they could be covered by sale of the land.
The Leicester Mercury was unable to contact the tenant.