A DEVELOPER has been ordered to tidy up the derelict site of a former cinema for a second time as its future remains uncertain.

The long-awaited £10 million redevelopment scheme for the former Odeon, which would have seen 57 apartments created, stalled late last year when developer Blumarble Property admitted the plans might not be financially viable.

In October Colchester Council ordered the developer to tidy up the Crouch Street site after handing it a section 215 notice.

It meant they had to put up hoardings at the premises and board up the windows.

But the council has now handed Blumarble Properties a renewed order saying part of the previous notice was not complied with.

The iconic Crouch Street building has been a hotspot for anti-social behaviour and vandalism over the years.

Matt Ellis, the man behind the scheme, said Blumarble Property believed the original section 215 had been dealt with.

He added: “At the moment we are in talks with the council about the cinema and they are ongoing discussions.

“We are trying to come up with some sort of agreement with the council.”

Mr Ellis said the scheme still remained unviable at the present time.

A spokesman for Colchester Council said: “As part of the previous s215 notice wasn’t complied with, and because the time for prosecution had expired during the period some of the work was undertaken, we have now served another s215 notice, with a shorter compliance period, to ensure the owner completes the work as soon as possible. This latest s215 notice takes effect on the July 24, requiring the remainder of the work to be completed by August 24. Failure to comply and complete the outstanding works will result in a prosecution without further negotiations.”

Louise Smith, owner of the Workshop salon, in Crouch Street, said moves to tidy it up where just “brushing round the edges.”

She said: “It needs to come down. It has been like that for 17 years and there is no change. I’ll believe something is going to happen when scaffolding goes up.”

The Gazette asked Blumarble Property what measures it was taking to clean up the site but it did not respond before we went to print.