The clock is ticking for a couple who have fought plans to evict them from a Huddersfield wedding venue since 2013.
Mike and Kim Dean, the former stewards of historic mansion house Dalton Grange on Bradley Mills Road, have been battling legal proceedings to evict them issued on behalf of chemical giants Syngenta which own the building.
They have been running the dilapidated building as a party venue for many years.
A spokesman for Syngenta said: “After August 31 when Mr and Mrs Dean have handed over the keys the driveway shall be gated and secured to protect the building.
“We shall spend a period of time assessing the building before we take any decisions about possible use.”
Asked if the Grange site might be used to alleviate major car parking problems in the Dalton and Rawthorpe area during Huddersfield Town match days he added: “Yes, there are two areas of possible car parking land at the Grange. One is the driveway which leads up to the building and one is located a few yards from the main gate, offset from the driveway.
“The lower car park is something that I am looking at right now and I shall have a firm view of what we can do with it at the end of September. It can sensibly hold up to 50 cars and I am looking for a way to help the local community.”
The origins of the dispute date back to when the Grange was previously home to the now defunct Dalton Grange Social Club, a club for retired employees of what used to be ICI and Zeneca.
The club wound up in 2012 after a decline in membership but the Deans were allowed to trade from the building while Syngenta continued to pay all the bills including business rates, heating, lighting, water and insurance.
The company says it has had to foot a maintenance bill of more than £200,000 since 2011 and has received no income from the Deans.
However, last month the Deans said: “Unfortunately for the residents and local community, Syngenta was able to use its financial might and legal costs so that we have had to abandon our fight to keep Dalton Grange open.
“We asked Syngenta, through our solicitor, for a proper commercial lease or to consider selling the building to us but they have refused even to negotiate this with us and we have no idea what they plan to do with Dalton Grange.
“We have committed our hearts and soul and a great deal of money and investment to Dalton Grange and are sorry to leave in this way.”
The Deans’ solicitors, Paul Booth of Ramsdens, declined to comment.