Cowdenbeath MSP Alex Rowley has taken his fight for action to clean up the former Crown Hotel building, which blights the gateway to Cowdenbeath High Street, to the floor of the Scottish Parliament.
Mr Rowley was speaking in the debate which saw the Buildings (Recovery of Expenses) (Scotland) Bill approved by the Scottish Parliament. Speaking in the Parliament he said; “It is hoped that successful use of the new powers in the early years would give local authorities the confidence to be more proactive in dealing with defective buildings….Cowdenbeath is the largest shopping area in my constituency and the former Crown Hotel building sits at the gateway to the High Street blighting the image of the town centre. Despite continued pressure from local councillors and others, the Council seems to think it is powerless to act.
“At a time when the economy is starting to move and town centres are starting to see improvement, and at a time when local authorities are putting in more resources, it is important that this Bill is used to force owners to take action and, if an owner fails to take action, to enable action to be taken on the owners behalf and recover the costs. An obsolete building on the edge of a major high street, which has no roof and has partly caved in, is a blight on the community and needs to be tackled, even if it is not viewed as a danger to the public”.
The MSP has been in correspondence with the owner’s agents and the Council and said he has now asked Council officials for a meeting to discuss how the new legislation can be used to bring about action. He said; “I spoke in favour of the Bill as I believe the new powers can assist the Council to force action to be taken on the former Crown Hotel which I highlighted in my speech and other buildings across the constituency. We must be ambitious for our town centres and I want to work with others to drive improvement in Cowdenbeath”.