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Leaking Vennel properties at crisis point

Section:  Dumfries and West  | Tags: , , , , ,

A TWO-YEAR bid to fix leaking properties in a Dumfries street has reached crisis point — after flooding forced one firm to switch off its electricity.

Caution - Heavy Rain

Heavy downpours on Saturday July 22 saw a ground-floor shop cut its power and shut its doors to customers because of water leaking down into the building.

Property owner Niall Cowan said: “The problem is one of multiple ownership and the reluctance of some owners to agree to repairs.”

He added: “There was torrential rain, and a shop had to shut because water was pouring in.

“The heavy rain found its way into the building and was literally pouring into the shop next door, so much so that the electrics started to burn and the occupants had no option but to close the shop.”

Mr Cowan says up to eight property owners could be affected, but that the long-running issue may be nearing a resolution.

Pointing to an email from a council officer in Strategic Housing Services who says the local authority is in the processing of creating a spec that can go out to tender, Mr Cowan said: “The good thing is that the council have taken this on board.

“It’s taken quite a while to get to this stage, and there’s no grant so we’re going to have to pay out of our own pockets.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council believe there are ‘major defects’ in the building.

A spokesman said: “Our council is well aware of issues relating to the roofing over businesses and flats in Friars Vennel.

“We’ve been in discussion with property owners for over two years to try to reach a satisfactory and fair decision with regards the roof repairs and who should pay for this work to be completed.”

Stressing it is the responsibility of the owners to arrange for repairs, but that it has provided advice, mediation and technical support which has ‘not brought the owners to agreement’, he added: “What our council may choose to do is to instruct that the works are carried out and then costs re-charged to property owners.

“A report with options on how to take this forward would require committee approval before works could begin.”

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