Thirsk Council has been left frustrated in its attempts to have the premises of a now-defunct bar venue located in the town cleaned up.
The ongoing row between the local authority, Camerons Brewery and receiver Eddisons over the future and clean-up of a derelict bar located in a prominent position in the town looks set to continue with no sign of a solution in sight.
Town officials had hoped to gain access to the former Aspire bar, a triple-front premises located in the southern entrance of the town's Market Place, which has generated complaints from locals over the past few months.
With the building described as an eyesore by many residents, officials had hoped to gain access to it in a bid to clean up the premises and improve the image of Thirsk to visitors and homeowners in the area alike.
However, those plans now look to have been shelved amid confusion over the ownership of the property. The issue revolves around an ongoing legal dispute between Eddisons and the brewery as to who is responsible for the venue.
Eddisons, for example, while aware of the issues surrounding the premises, noted that as receiver it has no authority to undertake any work on the site, which it noted remained subject to a lease by Camerons.
However, the Hartlepool-based brewery has countered these claims, noting that the lease had been given up after the owner failed to complete essential work like soundproofing. To complicate matters further, the owner in question has subsequently gone into administration, with receiver Eddisons stepping in.
Despite this, the property company claims Camerons has ultimately failed to correctly hand over the lease on the premises, resulting in the current impasse.
The property was previously the subject of several complaints in the region regarding late-night noise, with issues stretching back three years. These complaints ultimately resulted in the brewery surrendering the licence for the bar, but with no end in sight to the current problems, its legacy looks set to remain a blight on Thirsk for some time to come.
Speaking to the Northern Echo, Deputy Mayor Councillor Ed Fraser expressed his frustration at the lack of developments. "It reflects very badly on the town and so we would like to get in there to clean it up," he told the newspaper.
The Council is said to now be considering the next course of action to take.
By Francesca Witney