Ashgrove House Blights Community

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Councillor Kyle Robinson inspecting the Ashgrove House site.

Councillors and residents are calling for action to be taken on a former care home. The empty property on Lower Ash Road has been blighted by anti-social behaviour, rubbish dumping and a complete lack of garden maintenance. There have also been several complaints regarding gravel used to block the entrance to the site. The gravel has encroached onto the pavement, causing several trips and falls.

Kyle says: “The property has been on the market for many years and continues to be an eyesore in our community. Complaints from local people have been coming in thick and fast as the site continues to deteriorate. There is currently planning permission in place to allow the owner to demolish the property and build several homes.

“I have urged officers of the council to apply pressure on the current property owners. Land banking is unacceptable and I take a very dim view on it. Empty homes and properties quickly fall into disrepair and attract pests, graffiti and litter, becoming a target for vandalism, squatting, break-ins and arson. This is not fair on the neighbours.  Following an inspection of the site, it looks as though people are accessing the building through an unsecured side entrance.  I have asked that the building is secured as a matter of urgency.”

Local resident, Hazel Tench said: “We are fed up with the mess this building has been left in. The owners need to move forward and develop the site. We don’t like it because it seems they are holding onto this property to then sell to the highest bidder. The owners don’t have to look at it day in, day out. I know a neighbour that fell over outside of the house because of the rubble and rubbish on the pavements.”

Newcastle Borough Council will do all it can to ensure the site is made safe and to encourage the development of the site.

 

Unity Way: “Not another Off-license”

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Current proposals for a new Convenience store to be challeneged by local residents.

Residents of Unity Way in Talke are campaigning to oppose a new off license application submitted to Newcastle Borough Council. The convenience store proposed to take up the empty unit would be allowed to sell alcohol between 7.00am to 11.30pm Monday to Wednesday, 7.30am to 11.30pm Thursday to Saturday and 8.00am to 11.00pm on a Sunday.

It is believed that granting a license would provide a further source of alcohol within an area already so heavily populated with licensed premises that crime, disorder and public nuisance have already reached problem levels for the local police. Staffordshire Police have only recently had to dedicate more officers to the area due to a spike in crime.

The unit sits on an access only road and it is believed another convenience store in this area would be totally detrimental to the aims and objectives of the local community. There is currently an ongoing campaign to reduce traffic and the speed of traffic in this area. Staffordshire County Council Highways and the Police are well aware of this problem and continue to work with residents to find a solution. The amount of traffic generated by a convenience store could cause further problems for the road.

As the Butt Lane Councillor, I am concerned regarding the highways issues raised. There are also serious concerns that young people in the Kidsgrove and Butt Lane area are more easily getting access to alcohol. I feel that by making alcohol more readily available in this particular area, people will face a range of issues. Not to forget the fact this site is already an anti-social behaviour hotspot.

I have asked the committee deciding on this application to look at the Alcohol Related Hospital Admissions report presented to Newcastle Borough Council in October 2013. Year on year, the number of cases of Alcohol related admissions have doubled in some cases in the Borough. This includes Toxic effects, mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol and alcoholic related liver disease. I believe the increase in access to alcohol through supermarkets and off-licenses has had a serious impact on communities. Whilst I do not want to be a kill joy, I do feel as a community we need to do more to raise awareness regarding the effects alcohol consumption can have on ones health.

We currently have a huge provision of local shops, co-operative stores and a new supermarket to be built on the old Linley Trading Estate. Do we really need anymore?

If you wish to have your say on the proposals, please follow the link below:

http://tinyurl.com/qhcd66a

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