Abandoned Fortey House in Northleach is to be demolished to make way for new homes

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson standing in front of Fortey House in Northleach

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson standing in front of Fortey House in Northleach

First published in News Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN ABANDONED and unused house in Northleach will finally be demolished and re-built into 22 affordable homes after standing empty for several years.

Bromford Housing Association has submitted a full application to Cotswold District Council with plans to turn the site of Fortey House into 22 homes.

Chairman of Northleach Town Council Cllr Vicki Hewer said the whole of Northleach was heartbroken that Fortey House was left abandoned for so long.

“It stood empty for so many years and we’re so happy that we’re finally getting affordable housing in its place,” said Cllr Hewer. “Northleach needs affordable housing but I’m not sure it needs as much as 22 houses.”

A total of seven elderly residents were evicted from Fortey House in 2009 with the eighth and final resident being forced to leave in April 2010.

Yet the house sat empty for years before anything was planned for it and it wasn’t until January 2014 when a full application was submitted to CDC.

The last resident to leave, pensioner John Kear, said he felt like he and his neighbours had been “victimised” and it was "painful" leaving his home.

The application submitted by Bromford comprises of 22 affordable dwellings, associated access road, car parking and landscaping.

Cllr Hewer went on to say that concerns were raised at a recent town council meeting by neighbours of the site who were worried about their houses and gardens being overlooked by the new buildings.

Head of neighbourhood at Bromford Suzanne Shead said Fortey House had been closed because of a lack of demand in Northleach for the small flats and bedsits it was offering.

“The works required to upgrade these facilities were not economically viable,” she said.

“We explored a number of redevelopment options for this site and consulted with the Northleach community. This has taken a lot of time as we want to develop the site sensitively, taking into account the housing market and the requirement for affordable accommodation.

“At the same time we have been exploring ways to fund the development and these funds are now in place,” she added.

Ms Shead said Bromford was confident that its plan addresses all the requirements for Northleach while also creating welcoming and efficient homes where people will want to live.

All comments on this application can be submitted to Cotswold District Council’s online planning portal until March 13.

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