NORTHWICH MP Mike Amesbury is calling for Cheshire West and Chester Council to consider a compulsory purchase order on an eyesore building at a major gateway into the town.

He and local councillors feel the boarded up Riverside House in Winnington Street is a ‘blight on the landscape’ that gives off all the wrong signals given the efforts being made around regeneration.

In the short run, the Weaver Vale MP is asking CWAC to look at enforcement action due to safety concerns, especially following the recent collapse of Northwich Railway Station.

Northwich Guardian: The buildings have been vacant for decades and are now derelict

The large building has been empty for years and foiliage is growing out of the roof

Mr Amesbury said in a letter to CWAC chief executive Andrew Lewis: “A number of residents and town councillors have again raised their concerns over the state and safety of the above property.

“This is a gateway to the town centre and as we transition out of the current health pandemic, dealing with the blight on the landscape is now more important than ever.

“Following the recent collapse of part of the Northwich Train Station I note similar growth of shrubbery out of the bricks and mortar of these buildings.

“In the short term, a building control survey should be carried out and the necessary enforcement measures applied to the owner and developer.

“I also call for stronger intervention measures such as the consideration of a Compulsory Purchase Order to shape regeneration with local residents and stakeholders.”

Northwich Guardian: The MP has called on Cheshire West and Chester Council to take action

The MP has called on Cheshire West and Chester Council to take action

Northwich Mayor Cllr Sam Naylor says the derelict building, next to Town Bridge, has been empty 30 years and is an ‘awful advertisement’ for the town.

He said: “Here I am as town mayor and chair of Northwich Regeneration Forum doing everything I can to support and promote the town and yet it’s spoilt in a way.

"The main gateway into the town speaks of decay when we are trying to support the regeneration of Northwich and say ‘Come to Northwich, it’s a brilliant place!’."

The Land Registry shows Riverside House, 8-14 Winnington Street, is in the hands of three owners including Osborne House Ltd, based at Gadbrook Park, owned by John and Rosalind Fifield.

The 0.93 acres site is on sale as a development opportunity for £650,000 by property consultants Fifield Glyn, based at the same Gadbrook Park address, where John Fifield is also a director.

However, the land is adjacent to a much larger plot owned by CWAC, that runs alongside the River Weaver and several years ago, there was a proposal put forward by the three owners for the authority to come on board as part of a scheme that would have seen a mixed-use development being built.

Northwich Guardian: However, one of the owners has said they are safe and blamed CWAC for delays in nothing being done

One of the owners has said the building is safe and blamed CWAC for delays for nothing being done

Those plans failed to come to fruition and John Fifield told the Guardian that he would be 'delighted' to sell the building to CWAC as he invited the council to 'come to the party'.

He said: "We would be delighted to sell it to CWAC.

"It’s openly on the market and has been for several years - no need for a CPO.

"We have on three occasions agreed conditional sales but all of them aborted.

"The Developers concerned were unable to negotiate a purchase of CWAC’s land to the rear.

"The buildings are derelict but quite safe.

"When CWAC agree to sell their land, everything will be demolished and a new building put up in lieu.

"We just need CWAC to come to the 'party' and all will be sorted."

Cheshire West and Chester have been approached for a comment.