Legal action has finally been taken to get rid of 11-year-old scaffolding from a building on Warminster's High Street after years of complaints.

Number 3, High Street, is a derelict Grade-II listed building which was built by Edward Cockey in 1731.

The last known occupier was Ciro Citterio which shut up shop in 2005 and scaffolding has now been attached to building, where there is a risk of falling debris, for more than a decade.

In November 2013 councillor Andrew Davis met with Haycocks High-Performance Property, who were agents of the building, and was told that the internal work required to ensure the building’s safety had been carried out and the scaffolding would be removed by January 2014.

But a series of setbacks saw the various deadlines for work to come and go and the scaffolding remains.

In 2019, plans to demolish the building and replace it with a shop, houses and flats were submitted by Bath-based architect Duncan Lawrence, on behalf of Nuy Hguyen of HK&Q Developments in Bournemouth.

However, the planning application lapsed. Similar plans for demolition were resubmitted by Rosebray Developments Ltd in 2022 and have remained under consultation, but Warminster Town Council now say enough is enough.

On November 13, 2023, an order was made by Swindon Magistrate’s Court for the building owner to undertake various remedial works so that the scaffolding can be removed, and the owner has eight weeks to comply.

This includes removing vegetation growth, reinstalling plywood hoardings to prevent access to the scaffolding, removing all loose masonry as well as carrying out a structural assessment.

“There is no doubt that the entire population of Warminster would like to see the current building gone,” said Tom Dommett, Warminster Town Clerk.

“The scaffolding is there for safety, to stop bits falling off, particularly onto the highway. It has been there for years."

Wiltshire Times: Number 3 on Warminster High Street is a Grade-II listed building.Number 3 on Warminster High Street is a Grade-II listed building. (Image: Wiltshire Council)

“Throughout this process, we have tried to engage with various owners, conservation officers and structural engineers, but the situation has continued to significantly deteriorate, and so we had no choice but to take this legal action," added Coun Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Development Management and Strategic Planning.

"I’d like to praise the tenacity of our Building Control officers, who have visited this site 34 times over the years and written several reports documenting the escalating issues surrounding the building and its scaffold."

The Grade-II listed building is privately owned, and the current planning application to demolish the site and rebuild is still pending a decision.

The town council say they hope that these plans will proceed, and they have discussed the possibility of buying the building if the current planning doesn't go ahead.

Residents must now patiently wait until January 8, 2024, to see if the current owner repairs the building as required or if further legal action must be taken.