Pub site owners given 28 days to carry out work to 'dangerous' building
A group of trustees behind plans to turn a derelict Ipswich pub into a Kurdish community centre have been given 28 days to carry out essential work to make the building safe.
Ipswich Borough Council took the group to court on Monday to seek an order for necessary work to be completed at the former Rose and Crown site - on the corner of Bramford Road and Norwich Road.
The application was brought under section 77 of the Building Act against Mohmid Rahim, Salar Ali, Eysa Mohammed and Taha Mohammed, as well as Taha Muhamad and Khalid Albayti, neither of whom were present at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on the day of the hearing.
Work to convert the building into a functioning community centre began in early 2017 but was halted that November, forcing the closure of Bramford Road for two months, after health and safety officers deemed it "structurally unsafe".
The borough council ordered demolition of most of the building and funded the installation of scaffolding to keep the remaining structure standing.
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Magistrates heard that the group behind redevelopment had paid two of three invoices for the scaffolding - but still owed the council an outstanding balance of £4,500.
However, the court heard, positive steps had been taken in recent months, including the appointment of a builder and architect, and ongoing discussion with the council concerning remedial work.
An application had also been lodged with the county council for a further closure of Bramford Road in order to carry out the necessary work.
The borough council had initially sought approval for an application to order the work be completed within 14 days, but had since extended the period to allow 28 days from the date of imposition at court.
Speaking through an intermediary, the group members said they had done everything to ensure the building came down safely, but had faced various issues, including negotiation of a 'flying freehold' connection to a neighbouring property.
All of the trustees will be jointly and separately liable for the order - failure to comply with which is a criminal offence, and gives a local authority power to undertake the works and to recover the cost from the owner.