A formal warning notice has been issued to the owners of the Berkeley Hotel in Ilfracombe giving them 21 days to begin work on a list of repairs to the outside of the building. The notice was issued by the Ilfracombe Stalled Sites Group in an effort to s

A formal warning notice has been issued to the owners of the Berkeley Hotel in Ilfracombe giving them 21 days to begin work on a list of repairs to the outside of the building.

The notice was issued by the Ilfracombe Stalled Sites Group in an effort to speed up work to protect one of Ilfracombe's historic buildings.

If this doesn't work, a formal notice will be issued. This could lead to works being completed by someone else with the bill being passed on to the developers.

The group was set up earlier this year under the chairmanship of Rod Donovan and consists of officers and members from North Devon Council, Ilfracombe Town Council, North Devon Plus and Transform.

Its aim is to examine and help manage the development of sites in the town which have 'stalled' and are seen to be having an adverse effect on the town's heritage and its regeneration.

This is carried out by negotiation with site owners and by using legislation that includes planning, listed building laws, housing and environmental health.

Cllr Colin Wright, Lead Member for Planning and Development, said:: "Ilfracombe is a wonderful place to live and attracts many holidaymakers and visitors. Therefore, it is important that we do everything we can to encourage and assist planned developments in the town so that they do us credit and are not simply left to deteriorate. By working together as a group we are determined to make this happen."

Town Councillor Rod Donovan chairs the group which meets every six weeks. He said: "Tough action is needed on these sites. Our first intervention - the repairs notice - on the Berkeley Hotel appeared to have an effect initially but the work was not completed. Building owners need to be aware that we are serious and will take all the legal action necessary to ensure our town is not blighted by these buildings left in disrepair."

Other updates on development sites that were discussed at last week's meeting were:

* Britannia Hotel - work is now complete

* former bus station site - both councils are consulting on the plans

* former Montebello Hotel site - the landowners are looking over the development brief to move plans forward

* former Golden Coast Arcade - actions for this site are under discussion