A TIMETABLE has been agreed with the Co-op in Studley to come up with a plan to off-load the derelict Priory Square site in the village – to the delight of campaigners.
The measure, outlined by Stratford District Council’s Cabinet, gives the supermarket giant just nine months to find a solution for the eyesore before the authority moves to implement a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for the site.
Councillor Hazel Wright (Lib Dem, Studley & Sambourne) has campaigned for 14 long years to reach this stage.
She said: “I was very pleased that Cabinet confirmed their willingness to spend money preparing for a CPO and I cannot fault how enthusiastic members are to do something about this site.”
She also praised the presentation by Parish Councillor Sue Redman who gave the parish’s view of the site.
However she did strike a note of caution.
“It’s been a long haul and I’m still dubious about the timetable – the Co-op only have a short space of time to put the land up for sale, find a developer and getting planning permission,” she said.
Coun Justin Kerridge (Con, Mappleborough Green & Studley) while acknowledging the tightness of the timetable said if the Co-op slipped up then Stratford had the resources to push ahead with a CPO.
“It’s very positive that council officers have been talking to the Co-op and there’s another meeting planned for next month,” he said.
“Relatively recently there was a costed planning application for flats on the site which was approved and although that has since expired we can use it as a guide,” he said.
Stratford District has in the region of £9million in reserves and has earmarked £50,000 for exploratory work towards a CPO.
The following timeline has been endorsed:
· March 2018 – Co-op engineers obtain highway advice from Warwickshire County Council.
· April 2018 – Pre-application advice submitted.
· May 2018 – Pre-application advice issued.
· June – August 2018 – Priory Square site is marketed.
· September 2018 – Developers submit bids.
· November 2018 – Site sold, detailed planning obtained and site developed.