A PARTIALLY demolished building in the heart of Redditch needs to be razed to the ground as soon as possible.
That’s the message from town centre residents living near the former Abel Morrall premises and their appeals have been backed by Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate Rebecca Blake.
Campaigners had tried in vain to save the historic Bromsgrove Road buidling last summer but failed to meet a deadline to come up with the required £1million. They had drawn up plans to turn the site into a working museum to showcase the craft of needlemaking.
Demolition work began in July to coincide with the short-term closure of the neighbouring railway line – but large sections of the former needle factory are still standing eight months later.
Rebecca Blake explained that the demolition had already been halted twice.
She said: “The derelict building remains an eyesore and it must come down. We have the bike race coming back in mid-May in front of the TV cameras and so we need it gone by then.
“I was very disappointed that the local campaigners were unsuccessful last year especially as the reason appeared to be that there wasn’t enough time with everyone expecting the demolition to be while the train line was closed.”
A survey of nearly 300 people carried out by Ms Blake last summer found that 96 per cent believed the condition of the site was an issue with 90 per cent saying it gave a negative impression of Redditch.
Site owner Vivienne Wilkinson said the clearance of the site had been plagued by problems but was hoping the work could be completed in time for May’s bike race.
“We’d like to apologise to all the townsfolk but we are more frustrated than anyone – it has been a huge burden around our necks.” she said.