Residents Raise Petition To Have Derelict Property Repaired

Devonshire Road neighbours constantly plagued by vermin and overgrowing creepers

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More than 100 Chiswick residents have signed a petition demanding that Hounslow Council 'use all powers available' to compulsory purchase and bring the 'dangerous and derelict property' at 144 Devonshire Road back into use.

According to one Devonshire Road resident, a number of people have been in contact with Council Officers and local Councillors to try to achieve this goal.

"Unfortunately, after nine years this has not happened and it is perceived generally that customer care is poor with a lack of positive and efficient response to requests for information and a reticence to push the case forward."

A condensed history of 144 Devonshire Road according to local residents :

  • 144 Devonshire Road has been empty and deteriorating for approximately 20 years.
  • 2001 - following local reports to the Council it is registered as a Dangerous Structure
  • 2001/2/3 - Council notified of further deterioration
  • 2002 - Council notified of break in and vermin
  • 2003 - Falling bay shored up and restrained by planks through open window
  • 2003 - 2006 - Owner's representative Mr Stickney advises Council he intends to bring the property back to use, is seeking planning permission and putting finance in place and instructing a builder. He states this to the council 11 times over.
  • 2007 - After our repeated queries on this to Council, they state progress is being made, still on an informal basis. We resort to the Freedom of Information act to find the truth - there is no funding for the renovation and no plans submitted.
  • 2007 - Pollution Control write to Mr Stickney request rubbish, weeds and creeper are cleared following a rat infestation. This is not carried out. Since then repeated requests made to the Council to enforce this. Nothing is done.
  • October 2007 - Mr Stickney submits plans. The Council continue to refuse a to give deadlines for non-compliance.
  • September 2008 - March 2009 - it takes 23 emails to ascertain if the building has been checked both outside and inside for deterioration. Last known internal inspection June 06.
  • March 2009 - Petition presented to Council
  • August 2009 - Compulsory Purchase Order up and running.
  • Sept 2009 - Prohibition Order posted, no work is undertaken on the property.
  • Nov 2009 - Squatters evicted by police.
  • Feb 2010 - Mr Stickney puts the property up for sale at an unrealistic price. The Council will not disclose if the CPO is on hold and if they have put a time limit on the sale.
  • March 2010 - squatters evicted by police and entrances professionally sealed
  • 29 June 2010 - Council state CPO is about to be published and Notice posted. Nothing happens.
  • 12 July 2010 - Council state CPO is about to be published and Notice posted. Nothing happens.
  • June/July 2010 - Council asked again for past internal inspection dates, when remedial work will begin, and a new internal inspection will be. This is asked 13 times, still without an answer.
  • August 2010 - a local Councillor says CPO will happen in a couple of weeks. Nothing happens.
  • The legal department refuse to respond to questions on the progress of the CPO.

"This property affects the amenity of the neighbourhood. The immediate neighbours are constantly plagued by vermin and creeper overgrowing the entire rear of the building, over the roof and on to other properties and gardens. Its dangerous state is of ongoing concern to neighbours either side and the passing public. The Council have a duty of care and we should be allowed to live in peace and without fear, threat or danger. 144 should be converted into a much needed home - without further delay," concludes the petition.

It is understood that one of the reasons for the delay with the works is because the property's owner recently passed away. However, according to the contractor, enabling works will be starting on the property this week along with actual building works commencing next week.

The property will be under discussion at this week's Chiswick Area Committee Meeting.

September 21, 2010


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