Owners failed to make urgent repairs to King Street property.

A Chittlehampton couple has been fined for failing to repair a dangerous building in South Molton.

Marilyn and Richard Chapple, of East Stowford Barton, failed to comply with two court orders in relation to their property in King Street, which had been classed as a ‘dangerous’.

The couple had erected scaffolding but failed to carry out urgent work to make the building safe – something eventually done under warrant by North Devon Council’s Building Control team.

The couple failed to appear in court on Thursday and were both found guilty and fined a total of £645 each, including costs and court charges.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor Des Brailey, said: “We know how upset local people have been about the scaffolding and traffic lights on King Street, which have caused a lot of disruption to the town and its businesses.

“The council’s Building Control and Legal teams have worked very hard to get the problems with this building resolved and I’m sure that this latest prosecution will show local residents how seriously we have taken this case.”

Mike Tucker from the council’s Building Control team said when the team finally gained access to the building, they discovered it was in a much worse condition than expected.

“The front of the building was very dangerous and the timber frame and first floor were extensively rotten,” he said.

“It’s clear that the owners have done little, if anything, to look after this building and keep it safe for those living and working in it.”

The scaffolding and temporary lights have now been removed from the building, however the props on the front of the building will remain in place, as this is only a temporary fix to remove any immediate danger to the public.

Any further repairs will be the responsibility of the owners.