REGENERATION chiefs say they are “fully committed” to finding a solution to a derelict seafront building.
Hartlepool Borough Council says talks are continuing with the owners the former Longscar Hall, in Seaton Carew, to try to buy it.
The local authority says if they do not reach an agreement soon they could use powers to force the sale.
The former amusement arcades and Coastliners nightspot, on The Front, is in an area of Seaton Carew that is due to undergo a major revamp.
The Seaton Masterplan involves the council using proceeds from new housing developments to fund new community facilities and small businesses.
Councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of the council’s regeneration services committee, said: “The council remains fully committed to finding a solution for the former Longscar Hall/Coasters building.
“Negotiations are continuing with the owners to purchase the building and should those negotiations not reach agreement in the near future, then the council would look at whether it should to exercise its powers, including the potential compulsory acquisition of this property.
“Dealing with buildings of this nature can be extremely complex but the people of Seaton Carew and Hartlepool can be reassured that we are making progress and the situation will be resolved.
“The prominent seafront site has been identified as part of the work we are doing with the Esh Group to revitalise key areas of Seaton Carew for the benefit of residents and visitors.”
The building’s future was raised by Seaton resident Graeme Measor at December’s full council meeting, who said that it was starting to attract arsonists and called for quick action by the council.
Last year, the owners said they hoped to turn the building into a thriving business hub by opening a new sea-view restaurant and creating various units inside for takeaways and bars.
But the council said no planning application had been lodged.
Seaton Carew is one of the eight sites in the Hartlepool Vision launched 12 months ago.
It aims to breathe new life into the key areas, spark the town’s wider regeneration and lay foundations for the town’s future prosperity.