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Stroud MP wants to press the demolition button on Tricorn House


Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie has warned the Tricorn House owner that legislation is coming to force the sale or demolition of the building and she would be happy to press the button herself.

Ms Baillie was speaking in parliament in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill debate when she mentioned the eyesore.

The Secretary of State is looking to strengthen the law around empty buildings that are left to rot with options like auctions, strengthening compulsory purchase rules or large fines for those who refuse to put the buildings into use.

Baillie has become frustrated that the owner of Tricorn House, John Wellfair, says he wants to sell, but little progress is made despite buyers being interested.

“On dilapidated buildings, I really welcome, seeing legislation come through to deal with empty buildings that are an eyesore,” she told MPs.

“We are blessed with beautiful old mills that represent our industrial history in Stroud, but also blighted with some really ugly buildings – including Tricorn House, which has dogged our area for decades. Very sadly, a young boy lost his life at the property last year, so we feel very passionately that we want to see change there.

“It is obvious to me that the fastest route to change is a private sale or a private demolition; I would be very happy to press the button if I am allowed. 

“People locally know that I am working as hard as I possibly can to move this forward. The owner says that he is committed to selling but nothing actually happens, so it is useful for me to be able to say now that legislation is coming.”

Baillie also welcomed the bill but said there was much to improve on it.

“The general feeling in my constituency is that the planning system is not currently working for anybody,” she told the House of Commons.

“I passionately believe that we have to scrap housing targets and make them advisory, and to look at ensuring that the infrastructure plans are upfront. 

“In Stroud, we are in the invidious situation where local people are desperately worried about the emerging local plan coming from Stroud District Council, and they feel ignored. 

“Sharpness, Whaddon, Cam, Wisloe and Whitminster, among others, are facing thousands of new homes going into their areas, but they have no confidence that the infrastructure will be in place to assist the people who are going to live in those homes, or the people already there, and so avoid chaos.

“There is no confidence, unfortunately, that the council is paying attention to the consultations, and in some cases, consultation responses have been lost on the system. Any challenges to the council about bona fides issues are often met with blame for the Government targets, even when the Government says that the council has control, and the Planning Inspectorate is in the mix with all that as well.”

Baillie also spoke about mandating developers to build new homes with solar, electric charging points, and energy-efficient measures and raised her campaign with WWT Slimbridge to implement existing legislation that would see more urban wetlands used as flood and sewage discharge prevention measures.  

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