Fears that hated tower will remain

Worcester News: EYESORE: Planners are taking steps which will mean buildings like Elgar House cannot be used for housing. EYESORE: Planners are taking steps which will mean buildings like Elgar House cannot be used for housing.

A building which has been branded a blight and an eyesore could survive under new planning rules.

New laws will soon mean that commercial sites in Worcester can be turned into homes or flats with exemptions granted only in exceptional circumstances.

But Worcester City Council wants commercial areas like those in Warndon and parts of Shrub Hill protected from being used for housing under permitted development rights which come into force in spring.

At a meeting of the city’s planning committee councillors expressed concern that if parts of Shrub Hill were turned into housing it could reduce opportunities for long-term redevelopment. Councillor Derek Prodger was concerned that the “wretched” seven-storey office block, Elgar House, near Shrub Hill railway station, could survive unless the area was given an exemption.

“It is the most hated building by the residents around the location. Here we are discussing how to keep it. The debate should be whether we remove it.

“It’s an absolute blight on the landscape. If it goes to residential now we don’t have the option of demolition.”

Paul O’Connor, development services manager, said the objective was to be rid of the building as part of a comprehensive redevelopment of the Shrub Hill area. “If we have a situation whereby it could be converted under permitted development from office to residential that means it perpetuates the life of the building and the chance for demolition goes.”

Warndon is also a key commercial area for the city which planning leaders want to be exempt because of sites like the Shire Business Park and firms like Worcester Bosch, Yamazuki Mazak, Npower, CyroService and the Royal Mail. This area supports 2,100 jobs – a third of the employment in the higher end sectors of business, administration and professional, scientific and technical services in Worcester.

Coun Andy Roberts, who represents Warndon Parish South, said such companies had made a big difference in Worcester.

“I really do welcome this, that we recognise that our wealth depends on that area of the city and we need to give it all the protection we can.”

The proposed exemption area would not cover the whole of the business parks and employment in this part of the city.

Worcester City Council’s submissions for exemption were handed in before the deadline on Friday, February 22.

Comments (9)

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5:45pm Thu 28 Feb 13

gmoore1207 says...

there are no residents any where near it there are no houses doh
there are no residents any where near it there are no houses doh gmoore1207

5:47pm Thu 28 Feb 13

gmoore1207 says...

another council **** up
another council **** up gmoore1207

6:00pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Mr Nathan Goodwill says...

This may be our last opportunity to demolish the eye sore. If this doesn't happen it will become a listed building and we'll be stuck with it. The site should be flattened and turned into extra parking for the station. With it gone we will also get to appreciate the opportunity to view the Worcester Skyline from the station entrance.
This may be our last opportunity to demolish the eye sore. If this doesn't happen it will become a listed building and we'll be stuck with it. The site should be flattened and turned into extra parking for the station. With it gone we will also get to appreciate the opportunity to view the Worcester Skyline from the station entrance. Mr Nathan Goodwill

6:23pm Thu 28 Feb 13

JaxiB66 says...

I can't understand why such a hideous eyesore as the tower was plonked infront of Shrub Hill Station in the first place; a really good example of a Victorian station, & surely more aesthetically pleasing/interesting than that bloody awful tower!
Also, talking of 70's monstrosoties, what about the horrible old Co-Op building in town, and the ugly tech, wish we could just magic those away, lol!
I can't understand why such a hideous eyesore as the tower was plonked infront of Shrub Hill Station in the first place; a really good example of a Victorian station, & surely more aesthetically pleasing/interesting than that bloody awful tower! Also, talking of 70's monstrosoties, what about the horrible old Co-Op building in town, and the ugly tech, wish we could just magic those away, lol! JaxiB66

8:30pm Thu 28 Feb 13

goodygoody says...

It has to go. Another Worcester eyesore for many years. Let us see Shrub Hill station refurbished, in all its glory. A great opportunity that will probably be missed, yet again.
It has to go. Another Worcester eyesore for many years. Let us see Shrub Hill station refurbished, in all its glory. A great opportunity that will probably be missed, yet again. goodygoody

8:54pm Thu 28 Feb 13

CYNIC_AL says...

Maybe the University could buy it and clad it in gold tiles like The Hive and the new basketball arena in Hylton Road...
Maybe the University could buy it and clad it in gold tiles like The Hive and the new basketball arena in Hylton Road... CYNIC_AL

9:34pm Thu 28 Feb 13

katiekins says...

CYNIC_AL wrote:
Maybe the University could buy it and clad it in gold tiles like The Hive and the new basketball arena in Hylton Road...
If we getting rid of eye sores get rid of the hive as well.............
[quote][p][bold]CYNIC_AL[/bold] wrote: Maybe the University could buy it and clad it in gold tiles like The Hive and the new basketball arena in Hylton Road...[/p][/quote]If we getting rid of eye sores get rid of the hive as well............. katiekins

12:45am Fri 1 Mar 13

Jabbadad says...

It isn't too long ago that over £1million pounds was spent refurbishing Shrub Hill Station and during the proposals the conservationists were insisting on spending huge sums of money on blank window arches while still leaving us with a Station that you have to lug your cases over a footbridge, weeds still growing in between the rails and NO TOILETS. But a very pleasant Cafe.
It isn't too long ago that over £1million pounds was spent refurbishing Shrub Hill Station and during the proposals the conservationists were insisting on spending huge sums of money on blank window arches while still leaving us with a Station that you have to lug your cases over a footbridge, weeds still growing in between the rails and NO TOILETS. But a very pleasant Cafe. Jabbadad

8:28am Fri 1 Mar 13

Landy44 says...

Jabbadad wrote:
It isn't too long ago that over £1million pounds was spent refurbishing Shrub Hill Station and during the proposals the conservationists were insisting on spending huge sums of money on blank window arches while still leaving us with a Station that you have to lug your cases over a footbridge, weeds still growing in between the rails and NO TOILETS. But a very pleasant Cafe.
WOW! They spent £1million on refurbishing Shrub Hill Station? What on earth did they do with the money?

It still looks a complete mess itself, never mind the eyesore that is Elgar House (which should be demolished).

I'm all for knocking it down and starting over in that area provided no one has to borrow money to do it! To be stuck with that building any longer, and the state of the station would be a crime, but to go further into debt to change it would be a greater crime.

Surely the station is privately owned following the privatisation of the railways????
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: It isn't too long ago that over £1million pounds was spent refurbishing Shrub Hill Station and during the proposals the conservationists were insisting on spending huge sums of money on blank window arches while still leaving us with a Station that you have to lug your cases over a footbridge, weeds still growing in between the rails and NO TOILETS. But a very pleasant Cafe.[/p][/quote]WOW! They spent £1million on refurbishing Shrub Hill Station? What on earth did they do with the money? It still looks a complete mess itself, never mind the eyesore that is Elgar House (which should be demolished). I'm all for knocking it down and starting over in that area provided no one has to borrow money to do it! To be stuck with that building any longer, and the state of the station would be a crime, but to go further into debt to change it would be a greater crime. Surely the station is privately owned following the privatisation of the railways???? Landy44

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