Councillor Martin King is reassuring residents that action is being taken to ensure the shop front on 16 High St. Evesham will be restored as quickly as possible following its removal.
Strong concerns have been raised over the frontage which has been removed leaving a huge hole at the front of the building which is positioned in a conservation area. A conservation area means works to buildings need to follow more stringent planning rules to ensure the special character of an area is preserved.
Cllr. King, portfolio holder for transformation, efficiency and town centre revitalisation at Wychavon said: “This building is in a conservation area and different rules apply to the works that are carried out. We have rejected the initial retrospective application but another application has been submitted in the past 48 hours and we will be working with the owner to seek suitable resolution as quickly as possible. Locally we’re up in arms about this sequence of events, so we’re working hard to find a prompt solution.”
The owners of the building are currently working with Wychavon with a view to ensuring that the necessary consents to restore the frontage in keeping with the area and special character of the conservation area occur.
Cllr. King added: “The most positive and speedy option is for owners of buildings to work with us including seeking pre-application advice, which in this instance, was not sought initially, to ensure that works occur with permission and that a satisfactory solution can be found. However, we will have to consider formal enforcement action if an appropriate scheme cannot be agreed. Our town centres need to be protected and we are committed to developing masterplans for all the town centres in Wychavon. Town centres need to evolve for the future, but this cannot be at the expense of not following planning rules or failing to protect the special characteristics of conservation areas.”