Locals call for action at British Hotel

OVER IT: Creswick residents Quentin Turner, Margaret Giles, Maisie Turner and John Peart want something to be done about the British Hotel.
Nanjing Night Net

THE head ofCreswick’sBusiness and Tourism organisation has urged the owners of the town’s dilapidated British Hotel to front the community and repair the eyesore.

DILAPIDATED: Residents are calling for action at the old British Hotel which has stood vacant for close to eight years.

Margaret Giles said she understood the building was owned by “a consortium of business people”, not from Creswick.

“We’re left with an eyesore …people love that building and people feel hopeless,” Mrs Giles said.

The call comes as an anonymous Creswick community memberclaimed Hepburn Shire Council had failed in a bid requestingthe owners clean up the site.

Creswick Business and Tourism kick started a 2012 petition that was signed by 300 people in a bid to force the owners to act.

“We suggested a levy to give some incentive for the owners to clean it up, but council was reluctant to go down that path,” Mrs Giles said.

She said a lack of powers for councils to interfere with privately owned buildings had resulted in many of the state’s iconic, heritage buildings being left to rot.

“It bothers me as a resident, who has worked hard for businesses and the community, and itbothers me for the people of Creswick who are very unhappy.”

The building is richin history and was believed to be frequented by former premiers.

The anonymous Creswick resident claimed owners were issued by Council with two causeof notices to clean up the block and the building butowners failed to comply with them.

They said council had also failed to follow up these notices and force the owners to clean up the site.

Volunteers from the Creswick Neighbourhood Centre spent Saturday scrubbing graffiti from the hotel and cutting back blackberry bushes –seen as a fire risk.

The Couriersought answers to these queries fromHepburnShire Council numeroustimes butItfailed to respond by time of publication.

Mrs Giles said the people of Creswick deserved better.

“It’s very disheartening, we have civic pride,” Mrs Giles said.

Realtor, Caine Real Estate was contacted for comment and did not respond.

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