Outrage over windows ruling

A DEWSBURY trader is outraged over Kirklees Council demands that expensive improvements should be made to the property where his business is based – even though he says it is in decent condition.
Mark Rourke, of Westgate’s Main Exchange store, said his landlord received a second letter from Kirklees Council on Tuesday about the state of the building’s upper windows.
It follows a similar enforcement notice, sent in August, saying that if the windows were not renovated, the council would carry out the work and bill the landlord.
Mr Rourke feels he is based in one of the best buildings in the crumbling Westgate/Daisy Hill area, whereas a property opposite, once a chicken takeaway, has broken windows and vegetation growing out of the roof.
He admitted the windows above his store do need attention but said: “I’d like to know what Kirklees are doing about others that are in a worse state.
“How can someone walk past here and notice the windows need doing but apparently not see what’s going on opposite?
“Plastic bottles have been jammed in the takeaway’s letterbox for months, yet nobody’s done anything about even that, never mind the rest of it.”
He added: “You could spend £10,000 on the best windows in the world, but they won’t bring a single extra customer into my shop.”
A Kirklees Council spokesman said Mr Rourke’s landlord had agreed to make improvements to the windows.
He added: “This is part of the council’s commitment to having attractive town centres which encourage more visitors.
“Even a small number of untidy buildings can impact on the wider business community, as they give people a negative image of the town centre.
“This damages economic confidence, so we work with the affected property owners. Formal notices are only served where necessary.
“Such improvements have a positive impact. The owner of a property in Daisy Hill complied with our order and the benefits to the town are clear to see.
“Our aim is to contact the owners of all buildings which are in need of repair in Dewsbury town centre and also on the town’s gateways.”

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