Bookshop owner's worry over rundown neighbour

A FILEY woman who says her business has been damaged by a rundown neighbouring shop has welcomed improvements made to the property, but says further work is still needed to stop it becoming a permanent eyesore.

Carole Foster, who owns Fosters’ Christian Bookshop, in Belle Vue Street, claims the former Wine Cellar off licence, which has blighted the town for more than two years, has lost her valuable trade and requires a thorough renovation.

Mrs Foster, who has run her shop for more than six years, said she was relieved work had started but urged further improvements, which included her paying for the clean-up operation.

Mrs Foster said: “My business has definitely reduced and while I recognise the credit crunch is part of that, it is not nice to have a shop like that next door.

“The roof has been repaired and some painting has been carried out to the front of the building, but the windows are still very dirty and spoil its appearance.

“I have said I would pay for the windows to be cleaned inside because they are now giving the shop a grotty look and there is no point doing the outside because it wouldn’t look any different.

“If I could get into the shop I would get them cleaned, but that is impossible because I don’t have the keys.”

Earlier this year, Scarborough Council served an enforcement notice on the owners of the former off-licence and flats following a protracted legal process to establish responsibility for the site.

The shop was branded a health hazard by businesses and residents after it became infested with pigeons and Mrs Foster has warned she remains worried the birds could return and destroy the progress if further work is not done.

She added: “They have boarded up the windows where the pigeons were getting in but there are still some panes of glass remaining.

“You wonder how long they could remain because if we get some really bad winds it could blow them out and the pigeons would return again.”

Jill Low, planning manager for Scarborough Council, confirmed work has been carried out and that the shop now met the required standards.

She said: “The property was subject to enforcement by the local planning authority due to its detrimental appearance. Lengthy and extensive works have being undertaken by the owners of the premises and the property's improved visual aspect has now achieved compliance with the planning authority's requirements.”