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Council hold off on Villiers Square clean up operation

Owners given three weeks to tidy site

Douglas Borough Council has held back on plans to clean up Villiers Square, giving the owners three weeks to bring the site into 'good order'.

The authority had promised to take action on what Councillors branded an 'eyesore' area, by undertaking the work themselves then billing owners 'Friends Aellas Limited' of Dorking in Surrey.

They've now been served a notice requiring them to address the poor condition of the site within 21 days, or the Council will proceed with its original plan.

The brownfield area requires more than just cosmetic work insists Council Leader David Christian, who's demanding the owners fix and paint hoardings, cover cut openings and 'clear the whole area of weeds'.

He says although the Council isn't responsible for management of the site, it must take action on the 'dispiriting and depressing' space along the capital's 'shop window'.

The flare up of anger over the state of the dilapidated site comes as a Tynwald committee continues its investigation into the issue of brownfield sites.

Whilst giving evidence to the body earlier this month, Mr Christian lamented the lack of power local authorities have to deal with the problem, and called on government to use its compulsory purchase powers more often.

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