Last edited 11 Jan 2023

Main author

Institute of Historic Building Conservation Institute / association Website

Boston Council Section 215 prosecution for failure to maintain listed building

Town and Country Planning Act 1990.jpg

The owner of a listed town-centre property has been prosecuted by the Boston Borough Council for failing to carry out proper maintenance of their Grade II building, and fined £4,500.


[edit] Section 215

IHBC’s Government Liaison Officer Bob Kindred said: ‘It’s good to see local authorities using S.215 powers in the 1990 Planning Act as an alternative to, for example, Urgent Works Notices, as they are easier to pursue in the courts and it’s easier for LPAs to recover their costs.’

‘Indeed it is just surprising that we don’t see more use of S.215 for listed building disrepair!

‘This may also be because people have forgotten that back in January 2005, the then ODPM produced excellent detailed best practice guidance to encourage more activity, which may have slipped from professional consciousness.’

‘Indeed the predominance of Hastings in the examples reflects the role I played on behalf of the IHBC. We helped identify best practice in local authorities, and directed the authors to the fact that Hastings had some 150 notices in hand!’

[edit] Boston Borough Council writes:

The property at 15 High Street, Boston (also known as 1 Bridge Street) is a Grade II statutorily listed building, due to its historical and architectural importance. It is also located within the Boston Conservation Area that covers the centre of Boston, which is recognised by Historic England as an area of special historical importance.

The Council first identified that the building was not being properly maintained following an inspection in September 2019 and the Council requested the owner of the building to undertake the necessary renovations and redecoration of the building.

After initial negotiations with the property owner failed to result in improvements being carried out, the Council had no alternative but to serve a formal notice to legally require that the necessary works were undertaken to improve the appearance of the property and help preserve it from further decay.

The owner failed to comply with the requirements of the legal notice and despite repeated attempts by the Council to secure the renovation of the building, no works were carried out, resulting in the Council taking the owner to Court.

On November 18, 2022, a representative of the owner of the building, DCFM Quotas Limited attended Court and pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to comply with the requirements of the legal notice although he had previously pleaded not guilty at an earlier court hearing.

[edit] Total of £4,479

The court fined DCFM Quotas Limited £675 and awarded the Council its full legal costs of £3,804, a total of £4,479.

Cllr Nigel Welton, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Planning at Boston Borough Council said: “Boston town centre has lots of historically important buildings, seen by hundreds of people daily as they shop or drive through the town. Therefore, it is vitally important they are properly maintained not only because they are heritage assets, but as part of providing a positive impression for the street scene of the town.

“This is a building which was not being properly maintained. Despite repeated attempts by the council to get work started, the property owner failed to do so and the council had no other choice but to take the owner to court.

“I am pleased the court found in the Council’s favour. It sends a clear message to other property owners that we will take action if processes to secure the renovation of these important buildings are ignored.”
The building is still required to be renovated and the Council will now be seeking that the owner of the property carry out the necessary works so that the building is restored.

This article appears on the IHBC News and Blog site as "IHBC applauds Boston Council on S.215 prosecution for failure to maintain GII listed town centre building: Fined £4.5K" on January 10 2023.

--Institute of Historic Building Conservation

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