Village green is dream of teenage campaigner

By Ian Dipple Friday 01 August 2014 Updated: 01/08 09:16

A TEENAGER has launched a campaign to turn an eyesore in Studley into a community area.

Holly Pittaway is trying to gather support from residents to turn land next to the Co-op supermarket off the High Street into a village green.

The 15-year-old has set-up an online petition which she hopes will get enough signatures to convince the Co-op to allow villagers to buy the land at a reduced price, the money for which will be raised through public donations.

She told the Standard: “At the moment the land is all boarded up and isn’t nice to look at. We don’t currently have a village green and it’s something at the centre of the village which could bring the community together.”

The site has been derelict for over 11 years and has been a constant source of criticism from villagers because of the negative impact it has on the overall appearance of Studley.

However any attempt to turn it into a village green could face opposition from planners at Stratford-upon-Avon District Council which has designated the site as land for housing and given the pressure to build thousands of new homes in the district is unlikely to reclassify the space.

Coun Hazel Wright, who represents Studley on the district council, has been pursuing the issue for several years and raised it again at a full council meeting on Monday (July 28) where was told a housing association was interested in providing affordable housing on the land.

Although a bid for funding from the Homes and Communities Agency has been rejected the unnamed organisation is hopeful a new application will secure the necessary funds.

Coun Wright said she supported the idea of creating a village green either as part of any development on the site or elsewhere in the village.

“It’s a very good idea but it will be difficult on that land. However we do need more open space in Studley, we actually have less than they do in Redditch,” she said.

“It’s a gateway not only into Studley but Stratford District as well and at the moment it doesn’t create a good impression for either.”

Visit www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/studley-village-green-help-give-studley-a-village-green to sign the petition.

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