Discontent over lack of progress in fixing two prominent Gloucester city centre ‘eyesores’ by | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/
Concerns have been raised about the lack of progress in fixing two Gloucester city centre “eyesores”.
The state of Spread Eagle Court with its broken windows and missing tiles in Northgate Street and the boarded up The Chambers pub in Kings Square is letting down the city, according to civic chiefs.
Gloucester City Councillor Jeremy Hilton (LD, Kingsholm and Wotton) asked council chiefs what was being done to put pressure on the owners of both buildings to “spruce them up”.
He told those present at North Warehouse last night (March 23) that he got a good look of the state Spread Eagle Court is in when he visited the council’s Forum redevelopment site with council leader Richard Cook (C, Kingsway) recently.
“We looked at Spread Eagle Court and we could see the roof was missing tiles and in a pretty poor state. It also has a lot of broken windows.
“This is a building which is regarded as a positive building in the conservation area. It is quite clearly not watertight. I’m worried it will continue to deteriorate.”
“Could we not redouble our efforts and almost force the owners of the property to make it weatherproof so that it’s secure until we get a regeneration proposal?”
He also raised concerns that the boarded up The Chambers pub was letting the Kings Square redevelopment down.
“We see work being done by the University of Gloucestershire to refurbish the old Debenhams building. We see work at the site of the Forum. We know there is work to improve Kings Walk shopping centre and we spent £5 million on Kings Square.
“But Kings House looks unloved. It looks tired and old and it doesn’t help that the Chambers pub is boarded up.
“We really do need to get a tenant in there. Aspects of it certainly need to be spruced otherwise it lets the whole project down.”
Council leader Richard Cook said officers continue to try and engage with the owners of Spread Eagle Court and he is hopeful there will soon be progress on that front.
“Our colleagues in Reef have somewhat more success in engagement. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to make some progress in that area.
“Although, the building is owned by someone else and at the end of the day it is down to them to look after their asset.
Deputy leader Hannah Norman (C, Quedgeley Fieldcourt) said she agreed with Cllr Hilton but explained that she along with Cllr Cook meet with the asset management team regularly and continue to discuss negotiations with the Chambers tenant Greene King.
“We can’t look for new tenants while there is still that tenant we are working with proactively to hopefully cultivate improvements to that location.”
By Carmelo Garcia – Local Democracy Reporter
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