The town hall looks set to use its powers to buy a derelict hotel that has been vacant for the best part of two decades.
Councillors will decide next week whether to use a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to take control of the former Crescent Hotel in Rochdale town centre.
Papers describe the Drake Street building as being in a ‘very poor condition both internally and externally’, having been unoccupied since at least 2005.
A report due to go before a cabinet meeting on Tuesday states: “The building is located on a main frontage opposite Maclure Road, highly visible to anybody walking from Rochdale railway station to the town centre down Drake Street, and its long-term vacancy has a negative effect on the reputation of the town centre and the borough.”
The council says it has been trying without success to encourage the owner to bring the building back into use for the last five years – noting they ‘do not appear willing or able’ to invest the amount of cash needed.
Back in 2014 the council repaired the front of the hotel in an attempt to ‘improve its appearance to the street’.
And it remains keen to renovate the decrepit building – the rear of which is said to be ‘crumbling’ into the back yard – particularly given its prominent position near the heart of the town.
A ‘market rate’ bid for the building was made in April – but this was turned down, leaving chiefs to conclude ‘it appears that the only option remaining is to use compulsory purchase powers in order to make the necessary interventions’.
Planning permission to convert the former establishment into eight self-contained apartments was granted two years ago.
But while some internal alterations were carried out, council papers say ‘significant work’ would still be necessary to bring it to a habitable condition.
Rochdale council’s cabinet will meet at Number One Riverside at 6pm on Tuesday 25th June.
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