Owners of fire-damaged building in Seaham ordered to demolish structure

The owners of an eyesore building are being urged to comply with a legal notice requiring them to demolish the structure.

Durham County Council issued a notice against the owners of the Drive 2 Data building in Seaham in August last year.

The notice required Malcolm Teasdale, 59, and Valerie Teasdale, 57, both of Maureen Terrace, Seaham, to remove and cease storage of vehicles to the rear of the building in North Railway Terrace; demolish the buildings and remove all demolition waste; and leave the site free from all rubble and other such materials.

The notice was issued in response to concerns about the condition of the building which is in a prominent location in the town and within a conservation area.

When the owners failed to comply with the notice, the council took legal action. The couple subsequently pled guilty to failing to comply with the requirements of a Section 215 Notice when they appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court in July.

They received conditional discharges and were each ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £170.

The council has now given the owners until the end of September to demolish the building, which was formerly known as the Noah’s Ark and has warned that if they fail to do so, it will need to consider further action.

Cllr Kevin Shaw, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for strategic housing and assets, said: “The Drive 2 Data building was significantly damaged as the result of fire and sitting in the prominent position that it does in the heart of the town, it has had a particularly adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area.

“The council has attempted working with the owners over a long period of time and was unsuccessful in achieving an outcome. This left us no alternative other than to seek court action, which has subsequently supported the council’s issuing of a notice requiring the building’s demolition and we strongly urge the owners to comply with that notice.

“In recent months we have seen the demolition of the former Lord Byron pub, which stood adjacent to Drive 2 Data and had also stood derelict for some time.

“The demolition of both will lead to the removal of a significant blight on our town centre and I am sure residents, businesses and a growing number of visitors will welcome it. This also sends out a very clear message to adjacent owners that enough is enough as we accelerate further investment into the heart of Seaham.”

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