For over ten years, a neglected corner of Hall Green on the Stratford Road has been an eyesore, attracting vandalism. The photograph opposite was taken three years ago and the buildings are in far worse condition today.
Though its next-door neighbour, a Waitrose store, has offered to buy these properties and make good use of them and/or the site, the landlords have refused to sell them.
CPRE members are currently being asked to forward information about brownfield sites which could be added to that recently provided by local authorities and this Hall Green site is just one of the unused commercial and residential properties gradually becoming derelict in many parts of the city.
Successive governments policy have encouraged virtually tax-free investment and speculation in land whereas productive enterprise is burdened with several taxes.
- Has this matter been raised at Hall Green Ward Committee?
- Have local councillors intervened?
- Should compulsory purchase be initiated? Though this is said to be time-consuming, expensive and sometimes misused, a web search reveals that many councils are actively involved in such negotiations.
- Should a complaint about such properties be made to the Local Government Ombudsman?
- Should the council invite a local firm to renovate the properties, let them and share the proceeds? Ultimate ownership would be retained by the unsatisfactory owners and redeemed on payment of expenses incurred in maintenance.
In an otherwise tidy city suburb, why has this ugliness and waste been tolerated for so many years?