A MUCH-MALIGNED building in the centre of Sidmouth – branded ‘dangerous’ by concerned councillors – could be handed a new lease of life and reopened.

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Town representatives heard on Monday that a mystery person looks set to submit a planning application for the former SES stationer’s in High Street.

They were told a ‘local gentleman’ is in talks with the county council over a highways matter that will likely result in new proposals for the currently unoccupied premises.

The news came at a Sidmouth Town Council meeting moments after one member had called for residents to unite and campaign for action to be taken.

Councillor Stuart Hughes said the plea had been made ‘in vain’ as county chiefs had been in contact with a ‘hopeful new owner’ of SES.

“I believe it will not be too long before this council will be seeing plans coming in for an improved SES,” said Cllr Hughes. “We will have a building we can be proud of.”

Cllr Graham Liverton had previously told colleagues that Sidmouth should make a new year’s resolution to lobby for something to be done about SES.

He likened the building’s current state to ‘vandalism of a building in a conservation area’ and lamented it as the ‘shoddiest bit of High Street’.

Mr Liverton said he hoped organisations like Save Our Sidmouth (SOS) - and ‘any other group that cares about’ the town - would challenge district officers to ‘deal’ with the building.

“I think enough is enough – we’ve put up with this for years. It doesn’t seem to me that anybody is listening,” he added.

“Somebody will be injured soon if things are not sorted out. For 2014, it will be lovely if it was a start with a clean bill of health on this building,” Cllr Mary Jolly added: “It is dangerous…we must really push this.”

The long-term owner of SES did not wish to comment when aproached by the Herald.

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