Councils: Don’t let big business be bad neighbours (by causing blight)

Whilst in an Essex town recently, whilst doing some work on a growth and regeneration area, I saw this lovely empty building right in the centre of town.

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My local contacts tell my that this ex-cinema was purchased by one of the supermarket chains who don’t need it themselves, but will not sell it because they don’t want any other supermarket having the site.

At least this means that an interesting building with potential hasn’t been demolished, but the local authority shouldn’t allow this blight. With a bit of imagination a building like this could be used as ‘magazine’ playing host to such things as an arts and cultural hub, and a pop-up fashion market,  bringing some much needed extra life to the town centre. If the owners are not willing to use the building the local authority should intervene and make it very clear that they will not accept this bad neighbour attitude – some robust action is required to get the message across that creating blight is not acceptable.  Come on local authorities start showing some backbone.

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