A COUNCILLOR has urged a local authority to step up their efforts to sort out an eyesore building which he claims is attracting rats.
Coun Mike Turner, an independent representative for the Seaton ward, has been receiving complaints from residents who have spotted rats running around the derelict Longscar Centre, on Seaton Carew seafront.
The building has stood empty for a number of years, and despite being one of the eyesores listed on Mayor Stuart Drummond’s list of “grot spots”, it remains vacant and in a state of disrepair with no firm plans for its future.
Coun Turner has now urged the council to try and do something by either enforcing the owners to carry out improvements or issuing a compulsory purchase order after getting reports that rats has been spotted running in and out of the building.
He said: “We have said for a long, long time that something needs to be done with this building.
“Hopefully the master plan, which will deal with Seaton front, will deal with the Longscar, but it does appear that nothing has been done for quite some time now.
“A lot of people have mentioned to me that they have spotted rats running about, either first thing on a morning or late at night.
“There are always pigeons flying in and out as well.
“The obvious risk from that is to people’s health. But we also don’t want people to have the impression that Seaton Carew has a rat problem if they are enjoying a walk down the front, or a day on the beach.
“I also feel for the businesses down there who are trying hard and investing a lot of money to make things successful.
“They don’t want to be plagued with rats.
“The only solution in my opinion would be for the council to issue a compulsory purchase order and deal with the problem themselves.”
The Longscar Centre is understood to be owned by Capanac Leisure, which was not available for comment.
A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: “We are aware of people’s concerns regarding the Longscar Centre and we are doing everything we can to achieve a satisfactory solution”.