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Council's dismay at legal battle over Thirsk town centre eyesore
5:00am Monday 28th April 2014 in News
A COUNCIL has expressed its frustration over its attempts to clean up a derelict premises being rebuffed.
Camerons Brewery and receivers Eddisons said until their long-running legal dispute over the former Aspire bar, at the southern entrance to Thirsk’s Market Place, was resolved, it was unlikely the triple-fronted premises could be tidied up.
At a meeting of Thirsk Town Council, members said while the former bar’s peeling paintwork and dirty and poster-covered windows were an eyesore, they had been left confused by conflicting stories over its ownership.
Deputy Mayor Councillor Ed Fraser said: “It reflects very badly on the town and so we would like to get in there to clean it up.”
The dispute over the property stretches back to 2011, when the brewery surrendered its licence after a string of late-night noise complaints from residents led Hambleton District Council to impose strict conditions on the bar.
Hartlepool-based Camerons, which makes 500,000 pints of beer a day, said it had given up its lease on the property as its owner had not carried out works such as soundproofing.
It said two weeks after it gave up its lease on the property, its owner went into administration and the receivers, property firm Eddisons, disputed that the brewery had properly handed over its lease.
The brewery’s finance director John Foots said: “We have been in litigation with the receiver for the last two years.
“As far as we are concerned it is no longer our property. We would love to grant access, but we don’t have the keys, the receivers do.”
Nick Wiggins, of Eddisons, said the firm was aware the derelict premises was in “a very prominent place”, but added the property remained subject to a lease by Camerons Brewery.
He said: “Eddisons, as receivers, don’t have any authority to do any work in there at all. We have been writing to Camerons to try and get an access, but haven’t received anything back yet.”
The legal action, which is believed will be brought before a court in the coming months, will clarify the lease situation.
Mr Wiggins said: “As soon as we have resolved any issues with the legal ownership, we will move forward appropriately.”
Coun Fraser said the council would consider how it should continue to press for access to the property.
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