Owners of prominent ‘eyesore’ in town could be forced to sell up
The owners of a former seaside hotel that has stood empty for more than a decade could be forced to sell up.
Business leaders called for the derelict Shannocks in High Street, Sheringham, to be knocked down to make way for another building earlier this year.
But work has not been carried out on the prominent eyesore during the summer season.
However, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) is now ready to move the long-running saga forward.
NNDC leader Sarah Butikofer said: "We are getting a compulsory purchase order (CPO) together and intend to serve it on the owners later this year.
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"It's an absolute eyesore which the people of Sheringham have had to live with for a long time."
Back in February, Sheringham Chamber of Trade and Commerce called for the Shannocks to be knocked down.
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An NNDC spokesman said previously that the authority was continuing to work with the owners to come forward with its demolition notice.
A spokesman said at the time: "As we have previously said, if the owner does not make satisfactory progress, the council will progress with making the CPO for the property. However, CPO is by definition, a last resort."
Beeston Regis-based Huddies Ltd received planning permission to redevelop the hotel site in October 2017.
In its planning application, it stated that it wished "to demolish the Shannocks as soon as possible" and said it was fully committed to the site.
The council has been in a long-running battle with Huddies over the future of the former hotel, which was built around the turn of the 20th century.
It took the company to court in 2016 for failing to comply with a notice to improve the run-down building.
CPOs allow public bodies to force owners to sell up if their property obstructs a regeneration project or it's for the "greater public good".
But it can take months or years for a government department to grant a local authority powers to allow it to force the owners to sell.
Huddies Ltd is still believed to own the site, but no-one was available for comment.