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Edinburgh's 'wake-up call' to negligent owners

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The Scottish Civic Trust has applauded Edinburgh City Council's move to enforce emergency repairs on a listed Art Deco pub, calling it a 'wake-up call' for negligent property owners.

The category B-listed White House pub in Craigmillar, designed in 1936 by Williams Innes Thomson, is one of the last remaining Modernist roadhouses in Edinburgh. Recently ravaged by fire, the building has stood empty for several years and was placed on the Scottish Civic Trust's buildings at risk register in 2003.

Edinburgh City Council members last week served a repair notice on the property's owner, Britestart, ordering it to make the building wind- and water-tight. The notice forces the firm to repair the structure or allow the council to make necessary repairs and pass the bill on to Britestart.

'This is a clear signal to owners that let properties fall into disrepair. Now other local authorities can use this as a precedent, ' says the Scottish Civic Trust buildings at risk officer, Jane Nelson.

Among Edinburgh City Council's list of jobs to be done are repairs to the roof and guttering, replacement of downpipes, the boarding-up of windows and measures to prevent break-ins. Ultimately, the council aims to restore the building to public use, possibly as a community centre.

'There is a lot of local interest in reusing the building, ' said Edinburgh City Council conservation officer Jack Gillon.

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