Anger Over 25 Year Grappenhall Eyesore

Thursday, February 28th, 2019 10:45am

By Aran Dhillon - Local Democracy Reporter

Anger is mounting over an ‘eyesore’ building in Grappenhall which has been empty for around 25 years.

Grappenhall councillors Ryan Bate and Mike Biggin, along with residents, are growing increasingly frustrated at the condition of the Rectory site, on Church Lane.

Cllr Bate has labelled the state of the property as a ‘disgrace’.

“It is both an eyesore and a danger – and has been for too long,” he said.

“About four years ago Warrington Borough Council (WBC), under pressure from Liberal Democrat councillors, had drawn up plans for a compulsory purchase having gone through a long series of enforcement steps.

“Then at the eleventh hour the owner died.

“Since then, the ownership has been going through a long and protracted probate process, perhaps deliberately so.

“From what I hear, the owners had a number of similar historic properties across Cheshire and their working model seemed to be to allow them to fall into a state of disrepair.

“I’m not sure what their endgame would be but could speculate.”

The two Liberal Democrat councillors have also vowed to continue pressing council chief executive Steven Broomhead over the situation.

Cllr Bate added: “Mike and I are in the process of asking for a further update from WBC and are asking Mr Broomhead to intervene to ensure that this is made a priority as it has been an ongoing issue for too long and no suitable solution seems to be within a satisfactory timeframe.”

Town Hall chiefs have acknowledged the concerns from residents as they continue to assess the situation.

A WBC spokesman said: “The Rectory has been vacant for approximately 25 years.

“Its ownership has been a complex issue and we are prioritising a solution as it is unfair on the residents and visitors to this beautiful part of Grappenhall to continue to witness it in its dilapidated state.”

As reported earlier this month, 2,482 residential properties in Warrington are empty in what has been labelled as a ‘disgrace’.

The authority confirmed 1,438 of those homes have been empty for six months or more.

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