THE former owner of a 17th century grade II listed building in Moordown has said the “dreadful neglect” of the dilapidated cottage has filled her and neighbours with sadness.

Hundreds of people signed a petition organised by Moordown Local History Society calling for Bournemouth council to step in and save Moorside Cottage.

Wendy Prendergast, who lived at Moorside Cottage until 1987, said: “Sadly no maintenance appears to have been done. The cottage was last thatched 40 years ago and unsightly plastic drainpipes were added.

“Seeing the dreadful effect of neglect over the past 25 years has filled us and the many remaining neighbours with immense sadness.”

At a Bournemouth Council planning board meeting last week, the planning officer said he would write to the current owner of the property requesting repairs to the thatch roof, entrance porch and drainage pipes.

Chairman of the planning board, Cllr David Kelsey, said: “We need to send in some inspectors and a thatch expert to properly assess the damage.”

Enforcement action has already been taken with regards to the storage and burning of waste within the grounds and is due to be complied with by December 12.

Local historian and member of Moordown Local History Society, Bernadette Hallam, said the grounds are being used as a rubbish tip and the thatch roof is in serious need of repair.

She said: “The cottage has fallen into a dilapidated condition and its grounds are being used to store and burn rubbish.

“It is becoming urgent to have the thatch replaced as soon as possible in order to bring the whole site up to an acceptable standard befitting its status as a grade II listed building.”