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Eyesore site set for action

Redditch Editorial 5th Mar, 2015 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016

AN EYESORE site which has blighted Studley for more than a decade could be seized by council chiefs.

After years of campaigning by councillors and residents, Stratford District Council has now agreed to include the land next to the Co-op supermarket off the Alcester Road in its Corporate Strategy.

Coun Hazel Wright, backed by fellow Studley councillor Paul Beaman, successfully argued for an amendment to the strategy so sites which damaged the character of a location could be dealt with. They then secured an agreement that council chiefs must investigate solutions to the Co-op situation and find a way of funding them by October 2015.

Exactly what action will be taken is still to be decided but Coun Wright is due to attend a meeting later this month where she will argue for the land to be compulsory purchased, effectively allowing the council to seize the land at a reduced price. Studley Parish Council and residents will also be consulted.

Coun Wright said getting the commitment from the council was a major step forward.

“I have been persisting for many years and at long last it has paid off. Studley deserves better than a derelict site in the middle of the village spoiling the character and appearance,” she said.

“From experience I know the council had to do something because it has been really difficult to get the Co-op to talk to us, a few years ago I had to call on the influence of the Standard newspaper to get the Co-op to answer my letters and e-mails and then when we met they were not particularly helpful. Instead this

site has been left to blight the village, so succeeding in getting the council to take these steps is a big relief.”

It is not the first time the council has attempted to get the issue resolved. In August 2012 the council wrote to the Co-op asking the company to improve the look of the land. At the time the firm said the land was under offer and they were hopeful of a sale going through but nothing has been done since.

A spokesman for The Co-operative Food said: “The site continues to be marketed for sale. Recent interest from a developer did not result in the sale of the site for development.

“The Co-operative welcomes dialogue with the local authority as the future use of the space is explored and considered.”

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