5th Dec, 2016

Eyesore Co-op site in Studley set to be cleared up

Stratford Editorial 7th Jul, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

AN EYESORE site which has blighted Studley for more than a decade looks set to be finally cleared up.

The derelict land at Priory Square, which is owned and part occupied by the Co-operative Society, has come in for constant criticism from villagers.

Stratford District Council agreed to look into the possibility of seizing the land next to the supermarket off the Alcester Road following years of campaigning by residents and councillors – including Hazel Wright and Justin Kerridge.

And the possibility of using compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) – where the council buys up land – was mooted at a meeting of Stratford District Council’s ruling Cabinet last year.

The council say the site requires ‘urgent redevelopment’ after many years of neglect.

And having been awarded £200,000 as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Deal, it seems the site is finally set for a long-overdue spruce up.

The council has a further £90,000 to support the land purchase, highways re-enforcement and site development costs, which it hopes will ‘unlock the site’ for future development and regeneration.

It was not the first time the council had attempted to get the issue resolved.

In August 2012 the authority 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 then.

In August 2014 schoolgirl Holly Pittaway launched a campaign to turn the land into a village green. The then 16-year-old had hoped to convince the Co-op to allow villagers to buy the land at a reduced price.

Speaking about the latest development, enterprise spokesman, Coun Dave Riches, said: “It is exciting news for Studley and all the locals who have campaigned for this.

“The site has been an eyesore for many years but this funding will provide a significant opportunity to clear up the site, improve infrastructure and help support jobs and growth in the area.”