THERE are fresh calls for action to revamp one of Stroud’s ugliest derelict buildings.
Tricorn House, the dilapidated former Department of Health and Social Security office, just off the Cainscross roundabout, has been empty for over two decades.
The windows have been smashed, the doors remain boarded up and graffiti and ivy cover large sections of its exterior.
There have been many plans to redevelop the site over the years, with hopes raised as developers submitted proposals for affordable flats, a care home, and even the adding of an extra floor for penthouse apartments. Stroud District Council attempted a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)on the building to “secure the removal of a prominent eyesore, to provide employment and to promote the regeneration of the area” in 2008.
But none came to fruition.
However, Stroud District Council’s patience with the long-vacant site now appears to be running out.
Describing Tricorn House as “a symptom of a serious disease of blocked sites within the area”, Councillor Chas Townley, chair of the housing committee, said he is now keen to see an end to ‘land blocking’ by site owners, and “when nothing happens, enforce the redevelopment of those sites.”
He said: “The fact that a building of the size of Tricorn House has remained empty for such a long time without the owner appearing to actively pursue sale of the building or for any redevelopment plans to come to fruition is deeply worrying.
“This should not be tolerated and councils like Stroud need new compulsory purchase powers to help end problems like this.”
Mr Townley believes the first step should be to reopen discussions with Millville Limited, a Guernsey registered company, which bought Tricorn House in 1996.
Despite owning the building for 24 years, and a number of planning applications being submitted, no significant work has been undertaken on
“Ultimately, it’s their building and their responsibility,” said Cllr Townley.
Speaking at the strategy and resources committee meeting last month, Kathy O’Leary, chief executive of the district council, echoed Cllr Townley’s position, revealing that the authority has “a lot of ambition” to deal with the regeneration of the site.
She said: “I would love to deal with Tricorn House, but I’m mindful that we have tried to do that before and we need to have a very clear strategy
A spokesman for Stroud District Council added: “We recognise the community’s concerns about Tricorn House and we also want to see this
site transformed and brought back into use.
“The Council does not own the site. We have granted the owners planning permission for several schemes to redevelop Tricorn House in recent years, although none has yet been implemented.
“We have tried in the past to acquire the site ourselves to force its transformation but sadly were blocked from doing so. Derelict sites serve no-one’s interest and we would encourage the owners to bring it back into productive use as soon as possible.”