Action must be taken to tidy eyesore

First published in Our view by

You pay your money and you take your chances. Surely that old adage applies to the developers in the case of the former Bridge End Auction Mart site.

Parkmount Estates, which owns the land, must have been aware of the potential pitfalls — such as rejection of plans — when it acquired the land.

Fine, there may be all kinds of difficulties involved in meeting the criteria laid down in an enforcement notice but again it comes with the territory. It has also to be accepted that the current financial situation won’t be helping matters either.

But, what is for certain is that the plot is an eyesore and action must be taken now.

The decision on what form that takes is in the hands of planning inspector David Pinner, who has heard the final evidence at a public inquiry into the issue.

It is unbelievable and unacceptable that when a request is issued to tidy up and restore an area — as was done by Leeds City Council — nothing happens for six years. This is then followed with a notice to comprehensibly clean up and grass over the conservation area site. Again nothing happens. The landowners claim such work will cost £70,000.

Issues such as this once again highlight the faults in the planning system, which leaves those in authority seemingly powerless to do anything.

Compromises have been put forward — which may have merit.

But the bottom line is that the developer has a responsibility and should have taken action without the need to rack up huge bills at the public expense at such inquiries.

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