No comment from council - more than two weeks after its deadline for legal action against Morrisons passes

Bolsover District Council has been unable to confirm what action has been taken by supermarket chain Morrisons to clean up the derelict site of its former offices at Sherwood Lodge.

Thursday, 11th May 2017, 4:38 pm
Updated Friday, 12th May 2017, 1:07 pm
Bolsover sherwood lodge bdc overgrown.

The council served Morrisons with a Community Protection Notice (CPN) on March 23 demanding that it carry out work to clean up the site within 28 days - a deadline which passed by more than two weeks ago now.

Under the terms of the notice the company would face prosecution by the council’s legal department and a potential fine of up to £20,000 if it failed to complete the work detailed on the notice.

It is the understood that the only work undertaken so far includes the erection of signs advising security is on site.

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But the notice actually calls for nine stipulations to be met, including hourly security inspections of the site, appropriate measures to prevent individuals from gaining access to the roof of the building - to be in place within 14 days and maintained thereafter - and carrying out regular maintenance of the site including grass cutting, removal of rubbish and clearance of any debris or hazardous materials.

Bernard Haigh, of Bolsover Civic Society, said he had never seen any security presence at the site nor any signs of maintenance such as grass cutting taking place.

But he said that he was sure if Morrisons was not responding to the CPN then the council would respond.

He added: “There was a fire at the site just this week so it is urgent that Morrisons does something and quick.

“I am sure the district council will want to do something - all the councillors and the community are fed-up with the site being in the state it is in.”

Pat Cooper, Bolsover district councillor for Bolsover South, said she could not say how many of the council’s requirements had been met by Morrisons so far.

She added; “We have weekly meetings with the officer responsible for the CPN and we have another one scheduled for a couple of weeks’ time.

“But I don’t know what’s happening - it’s a situation which changes daily.

“I do know they are working towards getting these actions met but what they have done up to this point in time, I cannot tell you.”

Since the company purchased the site back in 2014, it has fallen into disrepair and has been the subject of repeated acts of vandalism and fires.

Morrisons originally bought the former Sherwood Lodge council office site from the council with a view to develop a 20,000sq ft store with a petrol station.

But speculation about the site’s future, compounded by delays with the development and by Morrisons’ repeated failure to comment on the plans was finally confirmed when the council learned it had been put up for up for sale in June 2015.

Derbyshire Times contacted Bolsover District Council prior to publication but no-one was available to comment.