Cam and Dursley's run down areas to be replaced with council homes

Gazette Series: Derelict house in Dursley, opposite the Library (3136573) Derelict house in Dursley, opposite the Library (3136573)

DILAPIDATED areas in Dursley and Cam look set to be the focus for new council homes in the future.

Derelict buildings at 11 and 11a May Lane in Dursley were initially the favoured site for the new Dursley Youth Centre but that will now be at The Manse on Parsonage Street.

At Stroud District Council’s (SDC) strategy and resources committee meeting on Thursday, December 19, councillors voted unanimously to hand the assets over to the general fund, in order for them to be marketed to registered social housing providers.

If no interest is in them, SDC officers will look to sell the plots on the open market.

The council was also looking into the idea of working with the owners of the neighbouring derelict garage to sell the whole area as one, which could prove more attractive.

Nick Stewart, principal estates surveyor for SDC, said the estimated value was between £100 ,000 and £200,000 and that the move was an important opportunity to improve the town in this area.

Cllr Doina Cornell (Lab, Dursley) said: “I really welcome the fact that we can move on with this. It has been in that state for years.

“If we can work with on one of these decisions it can move along a lot quicker, which is great."

Another area that is a target for council houses is the rundown former car park behind Cam Parish Council’s office on Chapel Street.

At the same meeting, SDC officers requested permission to move the 0.18 hectare site to the Housing Revenue Account, in order to allow them to make a planning application for up to 11 council houses.

Cam Parish Council (CPC) has asked if some space could be left for public car park spaces to offset the potential loss of spaces at the front of the office,which it hopes to use a part of for open space to establish a community centre for the village.

However councillors appeared confused about the MrStewart's report explaining what the CPC was asking for and Cllr Dennis Andrewartha, who is also a Cam Parish Councillor, was successful in his plea to delay the decision so they could see if CPC's idea could be included.

Mr Stewart said that including CPC's amendment would mean they could only build nine homes instead of 11 and it could produce "an unfortunate and unhappy layout in design terms".

But Cllr Andrewartha (Lib Dem, Cam West) was critical of the report’s “shambolic arguments”, describing it as “manipulative”.

He said the loss of two homes was unimportant when you considered Cam was already taking on 650 new homes, which included 195 as affordable housing and was more than the rest of Stroud district combined.

Speaking to the Gazette after the meeting Cllr Andrewartha said: “Because Cam is an expanding community, we want to make the centre a more attractive place to be.

“It would give us more land for a farmers' market and benches to sit on among other things.”

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