Posted: Mon 26th Jun 2023

Council takes action on rotting building

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 26th, 2023

A barber shop owner in Barry said he has been telling the council for years about a rotting building which he fears could collapse towards his business.
The owner of George’s No.1 on Regent Street, George Burt-Armstrong, said some of the issues in relation to the empty former pet shop which is next to his building include a collapsing roof, falling tiles and unpleasant smells.
Vale of Glamorgan Council said they started investigating some of these issues after they were brought to its attention in October 2022.
The council also said it issued enforcement notices against the building’s owner.
Building owner, Aiyla Investments Ltd., said they only acquired the site earlier in the year and that they are working with council’s building control team to get it secured.
Barber shop owner, George, said the state of the former pet shop has got worse over the past six years.
He said: “It is full of pigeons, rats, it has got big old fish tanks in, God knows how much water.
“The smell in there – it is just disgusting.”
George, whose father lives above the barber shop, added: “If that building falls it is coming towards my building.
“That is what I am more worried about.”
The council did not disclose details on the specific structural issues of the building, but pictures do show that the gable end of the wall which faces on to the Lombard Street/Regent Street cut through appears to be slightly deformed.
“I do think about it,” said George.
“Especially in the last year since it got quite bad and it is definitely not going to last another winter.”
The lane between Lombard Street and Regent Street was closed to the public in 2022, but it wasn’t until last month that a fence was put up to fully prevent access.
George said “the tiles just fly off” and that the lane has posed a serious hazard.
He also recalled a number of close calls on the lane, including one reportedly involving a mother and her child.
George claimed: “She was walking through and one of the tiles came off.
“If she had been a few seconds faster, that tile would have landed on the baby’s head.
“It is blocked off now, but I am forever going in the lane.
“The tiles were coming off and I was brushing them to the side because cars drive through to the car park at the back.”
George claims he and residents living on the street have attempted to contact the council about the issues regarding the former pet store, which he said now acts as an unfortunate eyesore.
He said: “Even before Covid, I don’t know how many times I phoned the council up.”
A spokesperson for Aiyla Investments Ltd. said: “Our company acquired the property earlier this year.
“We are working with building control in order to get this site secured.
“Hopefully over the next few weeks we will be starting works to renovate the building and bring it back into use.”
One of the ward councillors for Barry, Cllr Ian Johnson, said: “It’s a great shame when building owners let their properties deteriorate so badly that the Council have to get involved.
“I hope the building owner will take action quickly to make it safe and usable again.”
A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: “This was brought to the attention of the Council in October 2022, at which point our Building Control team began investigating and the lane was closed to the public.
“A more robust fence was put in place last month when it was reported the lane was still being used.
“The Council has issued enforcement notices against the building’s owner who we believe is fully aware of the danger. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“While it is entirely the responsibility of the owner to ensure the building is safe, our Regeneration team are also working to help them access funding to make the necessary repairs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The closure of the lane should ensure that the public are now safe.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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