A Dilapidated historic building in Sion Mills is to be bought by the Department of the Environment, in the first compulsory purchase it has ever made in Northern Ireland.
The Department said it has spent years in talks, attempting to secure the future of the old Stable Block - and is now poised to complete the compulsory purchase procedure.
As far back as 2001, councillors in Strabane District Council were warning that the neglect of the Grade B+ listed building could pose a danger to passers-by if tiles were to fall onto the adjacent footpath.
The Department also warns that the Stables are at serious risk of becoming damaged beyond repair.
And last night, Environment Minister Arlene Foster promised that her department is doing all it can to complete the compulsory procedure so that ownership can be transferred to a voluntary building preservation trust.
" This is the first time my Department has used these powers and I hope this compulsory acquisition will highlight to owners my determination to ensure that Northern Ireland's important and vulnerable built heritage is cared for, " she said during a visit to the Co Tyrone village.
The Department said a Notice of Making a Vesting Order has been signed and sealed and is ready for publication. The Order becomes operative at the expiry of one month after publication and the ownership then transfers to the DoE.
Councillor Derek Hussey said if it was the intention of the minister to finally address the dilapidation of the Stables, it was to be welcomed.
"I am delighted that at long last somebody is addressing this issue," he said.
"It's been allowed to go into an absolutely disgraceful state on the edge of an environmental heritage area.
"There was the issue of danger to the public - there was also the issue of the loss of a heritage site in the community. It's an extremely old building, within what used to be called a model village, that needed to be retained.
"The previous owner was not amenable to public bodies being involved in retaining the building.
"I trust that funds can be put in place to ensure the restoration and retention of this extremely attractive building which could be put into other uses," Councillor Hussey said.
The minister met the Sion Mills Building Preservation Trust to hear proposals for the redevelopment of Herdman's Mill, which closed in 2004. The mill complex was one of the unsuccessful contenders in the BBC Restoration programme in 2003.
The plan is to restore the Mill to provide social and community facilities, along with retail, business units and a living/work development. A new hotel may be built at the southern end of the site adjoining the weir.