Wednesday, April 23, 2014
There are hopes that two ‘eyesore’ buildings in a historically important corner of The Strand could soon be repaired following town hall pressure.
Town councillors have criticised the deteriorating state of two Regency-era grade two listed buildings at 40 The Strand, currently the Strand Fish Bar, and the former Thomas Tucker Store opposite at number 37.
Over the last few years 40 The Strand has changed hands – it was formerly Mo’s Kebabs.
But town councillors say the historically important building could be ‘a danger to the public’ because bits of masonry and wood are starting to fall off the outside of the first and second floors.
Now, following a visit by district council conservation officers, the owners have pledged to clean up their act.
Councillor Maddie Chapman said: “They have to do something about it – the windows are rotting and it is falling into disrepair.”
Planning chairman Lynne Elson said: “Bits are falling off it and it could prove a danger to the public walking past.
“The conservation officer spoke to the owner and he was told that they are about to receive listed building planning application. Assuming it is approved, they would be in a position to start repairs.”
The Thomas Tucker clothing shop opposite, which opened in 1801 and closed in 2007 after 206 years, is in a similarly poor state.
Since the closure the owner has struggled to get a tenant– although it has been used to display artworks by college students and the Exmouth Ceramic Group.
Councillor Eileen Wragg said: “It really is an eyesore – it’s a shame because it really is a lovely building.”
Councillor Lynne Elson said: “It is deteriorating. I understand that the landlord is trying to get a suitable tenant and nothing will happen until they get one. We can write to East Devon [District Council] about our concerns. But in fairness to East Devon they have taken an interest in the state of the buildings and are doing all they can.”