Developer hit by economic crisis

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One of the owners of a building on Warwick Street at risk of collapse has condemned Daventry District Council’s behaviour in dealing with the property.

Two weeks ago the Daventry Express reported how the council had stepped in to carry out urgent repairs to 7-13 Warwick Street, Daventry, with the building’s frontage being held up by wooden braces.

Guiseppe Decaro and his businesses partner Andrew Demello bought the property seven to eight years ago and planned to build 10 flats. But Mr Decaro believes he had been dealt with harshly by DDC’s conservation department.

He said: “We had a meeting with the council’s conservation officer. She said she didn’t see a problem with the development we planned. But DDC turned down the first application on conservation grounds, then it took us 18 months to get planning permission, as it is in a conservation area.”

Work had only just begun on the development when the economic crisis hit and Mr Decaro’s company, Grendon Developments, shut its doors.

“It was just bad timing,” Mr Decaro said. “Since then we have been trying to sell it, but no contractor will put in the £10,000 you need to applying for planning permission.” Mr Decaro said he felt trapped being unable to sell the property or raise the funds to make a planning application.

He said: “I don’t want people to think we did nothing. We fought and fought to get it resolved.”

In April this year Northampton Magistrates’ Court ordered Mr Decaro and his business partner to repair or demolish the property following a complaint by DDC. But notice of the hearing and the subsequent order were sent to the wrong address.

Mr Decaro said: “Demolishing the property is exactly what we wanted to do all along. But we were always told we had to keep the frontage by the conservation department.”

The property is now under offer.