‘Eyesore’ may be turned into flats
A derelict building in Banbury’s town centre may be bought by Cherwell District Council with the aim to turn it into flats.
By making a compulsory purchase order (CPO), the council is taking steps to buy the boarded-up Crown House and its surrounding land in Bridge Street which has been empty for more than 20 years.
If confirmed by the Secretary of State, and subject to planning permission, the site will be redeveloped to provide at least 33 rented homes and a small retail unit.
Over the past two decades the building, which has long been regarded by many as an eyesore, has been subjected to numerous acts of vandalism and more recently has been used by rough sleepers.
The site is currently owned by Slighte Limited which has not accepted the council’s offer to buy the 0.75-acre site and has not successfully progressed any plans to bring it back into use.
Councillor John Donaldson, lead member for Banbury Brighter Futures said: “We are working hard to address the housing needs within the district. This Crown site is not only an ideal location for housing, but its development would also contribute to the regeneration of the town centre. We are disappointed we have had to go down the compulsory purchase route as this really is a last resort and something we had hoped to avoid.”
The regeneration would be funded through existing capital reserves and also through Empty Homes Funding, which has already been secured through the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
Dependent on the outcome of the CPO, and planning permission being granted, the council hopes the redevelopment work on the site will commence during 2014.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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