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Concerns at safety of former pub

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Concerns at safety of former pub

FORMAL notice has been served on the owners of a former Lockerbie pub after roofing materials fell on to the street.

It happened at the Blue Bell during a recent storm and afterwards Dumfries and Galloway Council erected barriers and a temporary footpath outside as an immediate safety measure to protect the public.

The building was then inspected, and it was found that there was a risk that other materials could fall again in bad weather.

So, the council contacted the owners.

Explaining more, Annandale North Councillor Gail Macgregor said: “The responsibility to ensure a building is safe lies with the property owner. The council have approached the owner and requested action be taken. The council has subsequently invoked its powers under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003, and served a formal notice on the owner. The terms of the notice require that the owner takes action to make safe no later than 12/04/22.”

Should the owner fail to adhere to the notice, the council can, and say they will, arrange to carry out any works deemed necessary and attempt to recover costs from the owner.

Gail added: “The intention is to do this if necessary, however this cannot be done before notice deadline. The recipient has the legal right of appeal.

“The council is therefore left with no option but to wait. In the interim the temporary barriers/footpath require to remain in place to protect the public.

“I appreciate this situation is less than ideal and it doesn’t look as if it can be remedied in the short term.”

The building and its issues were discussed at Lockerbie Community Council on Tuesday night.

Treasurer Helen Haggart called for a footpath at the Blue Bell and said: “It should also have traffic lights as it is a bus route and the design of the road fits the Highway Code.”

Member Lucie Dudgeon reported that the safety barriers on the high street care causing issues and that the parking of vans is making it difficult for people in wheelchairs to cross safely, adding: “If other pathways are being created accessibility needs to be a main thought, not an afterthought.”

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