A petition calling for the Isle of Wight Council to serve a statutory repairs notice on the owners of Frank James Hospital (pictured above). File.
A PETITION has been launched calling for a statutory repairs notice to be served on the owners of the former Frank James Memorial Hospital.
And within hours of the launch at the East Cowes Heritage Centre, hundreds of people had signed it.
Friend of Frank James and chartered surveyor Ian Pickard said the Isle of Wight Council had a statutory responsibility to protect Island heritage.
He said: "We aim to collect 1,000 signatures in 100 days to show the council we are not just a vocal few but speak for all who care passionately about Island heritage."
Almost 700 signatures had already been collected.
The Grade II Listed building has remained empty and abandoned since being sold by the NHS to developers in 2002.
Urgent work was first said to be required several years ago.
The Friends of Frank James are an East Cowes based community organisation committed to saving the building.
Mr Pickard explained: "A statutory repairs notice is a notice the council can serve on the owner of a listed building requiring them to carry out repairs specified in the notice.
"If the owner fails to comply, the council has the power to undertake the repairs and recharge the owner or start compulsory purchase proceedings which is what the Isle of Wight Council should have done a long time ago in this case."
An online version of the petition is available at their website www.ffjh.webs.com