Community Assets in Difficult Ownership
Community Assets in Difficult Ownership seeks to raise awareness of buildings which are precious to local communities, but which the owners seem to have no interest in sorting out.
Derelict buildings and disused land are a major headache for communities. Even more so when the building itself is precious to local people but the owner is unable or unwilling to keep the building in a decent state of repair.
We need new powers
The infuriating thing is this is very rarely about the money. Not that community groups necessarily have the funds to hand – but they can’t get anywhere without at least ‘prospect of ownership’.
And that’s the worst thing about delinquent owners – they refuse to work alongside communities to find solutions.
That’s why we need more and better use of existing enforcement mechanisms, as well as potential legislative change to simplify and strengthen the powers against delinquent ownership.
Precious buildings at risk
Locality and Jericho Road Solutions have been gathering evidence of the extent of the problem as part of Community Assets in Difficult Ownership (CADO).
We are currently working with 10 at-risk buildings as part of a pilot project. Between them they have been empty for 224 years, and represent a loss of over £1bn.
Many have seen war and riots and fires, as well as fun and laughter and decades of public and community service.
Our 10 buildings at risk
- London Road Fire Station, Manchester – empty since 1991
- Rose & Young site, Caterham – car showroom: empty since 1985
- South Parade Pier, Portsmouth – closed in 2012
- Old Town Hall, Sheffield – empty since 1997
- Archway Central Hall, Islington – methodist hall: empty since 1989
- The Frank James Hospital, Isle of Wight – empty since 2002
- The Holywell Inn, Halifax – closed in 2011
- Leas Club Pavilion, Folkestone – tea rooms: closed in 2006
- The Carriageworks, Bristol – empty since 1979
- Hastings Pier – proof that at-risk buildings can be saved!