Eyesore demolition plan

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An anti-social behaviour hot spot at the site of a former mini supermarket could soon be demolished under new plans for housing on the land.

Wellingborough Council is considering plans to use its powers of compulsory purchase to acquire land at 66-74 Leaway.

The buildings on the site used to be a mini supermarket and business units, but they have been closed for four years due to fire damage to the former supermarket.

The local authority’s resources committee will be asked to vote on whether to go ahead with the compulsory purchase order plan at a meeting tonight.

A report to the committee invited members to agree the move as it cites a need for new homes in the area.

It also states there have been complaints about anti-social behaviour at the site in recent years.

Cllr Paul Bell, leader of the council, said: “Using our compulsory purchase powers is always a last resort and in this case we have negotiated extensively with the owner about the use of the land and now feel we have no option but to start the process. The area is an eyesore and a magnet for anti-social behaviour and we are concerned that unless we take these steps the situation will only get worse.

“If the resources committee agrees in principle to using compulsory purchase powers we will write to the owner to let them know about the decision and invite them to meet with us again so that we can try and resolve the matter. The process can take a long time so we would like to start the procedure at the same time as continuing negotiations. Whichever way it’s achieved, this area of land needs to be improved.”

The potential move has been welcomed by the town’s top police officer.

Wellingborough police sector commander, Inspector Nick Lyall, said: “It’s a place for kids to hang around, there’s a little car park there for them to mess around on bikes and skateboards. It causes a bit of nuisance for the local residents. Anything the council can do to improve it visually for the local residents and give it a more structured use would be ideal.”