September 25th, 2016

Council may buy Studley land next to Co-op

COUNCIL chiefs are considering buying up land to help remove an eyesore site which has blighted Studley for more than a decade.

After years of campaigning by councillors and residents, Stratford District Council has now agreed to look into the possibility of compulsory purchase of the land next to the Co-op supermarket off the Alcester Road.

Back in February, former Studley councillors Hazel Wright and Paul Beaman, who both lost their seats in the recent council elections, successfully argued for an amendment to the authority’s Corporate Strategy so sites which damaged the character of a location could be dealt with.

They also secured an agreement stipulating that council chiefs would investigate solutions to the Co-op situation and find a way of funding them by October of this year.

And on Monday the possibility of using compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) was mooted at a meeting of Stratford District Council’s ruling Cabinet.

Exactly what action will be taken is still to be decided but it is understood an appraisal of the area, its value and potential redevelopment options will be carried out in the near future as well as a study into the feasibility of buying the land.

Speaking at the meeting on Monday (June 1), Coun Justin Kerridge, who narrowly defeated Coun Wright to win the new Studley with Mappleborough Green seat, said townspeople would be delighted to hear progress was being made.

Afterwards he added: “This is fantastic news for Studley and hopefully it will lead on to some big ideas for the village – for instance, what about the other side of the Co-op site? And if the district council can have a hand in it then that has got to be better than leaving it to the fate of private developers.”

However it is understood that the land is currently under offer from another potential buyer, despite this a spokesman for The Co-operative Food said: “The Co-operative welcomes dialogue with the local authority as the future use of the space is explored and considered.”