THE OWNERS of an ‘eyesore’ plot of land left derelict for years have assured surrounding residents they will start building work in the next few months
The pledge from the Royal Bank of Scotland Group comes just days after a petition was handed into the Worcester branch of the bank in St Nicholas Street asking for something to be done to the old Volvo garage plot off Spetchley Road.
RBS has owned the site since 2009 when its former owners, Clover Homes, went into receivership.
Louis Stephen, chairman of Worcester Green Party, has been leading the campaign for new homes to be built on the site and collected a number of signatures from people living in the area who he said were fed up the site had been left a mess for the past five years.
Some low-level exploratory work took place last November, but Mr Stephen said he believed it was only being done to not let the planning permission lapse.
“All this time it’s been a derelict site with nothing going on,” he said. “It’s got hoarding and boards all around it and with the high winds they were blown down and it’s obviously a bit of a mess.
“I wrote to RBS asking for some feedback on what their plans were but I didn’t hear anything back, so I decided to write them a big letter to hand in.
“I collected about 20 signatures from residents who live very near to it. It’s not a large number but the intention was to put a little bit of pressure on them to actually do something.
“The thing with these little sites is they are more complicated and more difficult to build on, but from a residents point of view there’s an eyesore that needs tidying up.”
But when The Observer contacted RBS, they confirmed work on a new housing development was in the pipeline.
A spokeswoman said: “We have obtained planning permission for five new dwellings and a conversion of an existing Grade II Listed building on the site.
“We plan to start work in the next few months and aim to have building work completed by mid 2015.”
On hearing the pledge, Mr Stephen, said he was delighted the pressure from residents had finally paid off.
“It’s fantastic news,” he added. “I’m really pleased by it and really pleased they’ve given us some feedback of what their plans are.
“One of the biggest problems was people not knowing, so I’m very pleased they have come back with that. It’s nice to see them responding to local residents.
“Now we have received assurances they have a plan, we can be a lot more confident they are going to do it and we just hope they will follow through with their plans.”