Calls for action on derelict Gloucester Kwik Save site
BUSINESSES have called for action at an eyesore which has blighted a corner of Gloucester for almost a decade.
Traders are unhappy that the former Kwik Save in Northgate Street is being left to decay, with no sign of redevelopment on the way.
The developer has just floated a new idea for the site but it can't come soon enough for Imperial pub landlord Tom Kennedy.
He said that end of Northgate Street is suffering and the redevelopment would lift the whole area.
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"It's derelict and run down," he said.
"No one will come to this end of town. It looks awful. We have to look at it. They've had planning permission twice and haven't done anything with it."
Cheryl Lawrence, who owns The Vision Centre, opposite the site, said she has been waiting for many years for work to start.
"When we moved in around 10 years ago we thought something was going to happen," she said. "We were really excited about it – we just want it to happen, soon."
Newland Homes won planning permission for 98 flats in 2007, renewed permission in 2010 and then changed the plans again in 2011 to include 119 flats, including more affordable properties. Those plans were put on hold last year – now they have been shelved but Newland Homes is in the early stages of working on a new scheme with flats, cottages and mews.
"We have asked an architects' firm for feedback on a scheme like this," said Newland Homes design director Jeremy Drew.
"As a 100 per cent flatted scheme, that continues to be a problem going forward.
"We want to come up with a more varied scheme – I am convinced that is the way forward."
Gloucester City Council leader Paul James said he understood the developer's position but hoped a new scheme comes forward soon, which it can execute.
"It's an important site," he said. "It's redevelopment would help the Northgate area of the city centre. Clearly the developers have to come up with a scheme that is viable financially and works in design terms too.
"They have to follow what the market dictates and I hope they can come up with that sooner rather than later."