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Bradley Road offices to go for housing

July 7, 2013 10:37 PM

In response to probing from Trowbridge councillor Jeff Osborn, Wiltshire Council has conceded that the old District Council offices are to be redeveloped as a housing estate. WC says the abandoned buildings are costing £450 per day in rates to keep empty, so it's worth demolishing them as soon as possible so the site becomes zero rated.

Melksham councillor Terry Chivers has queried why the caretaker's house on Wiltshire Drive is also being maintained in a derelict condition. "I was both shocked and disappointed, to read that the former caretaker's family home on the site, has been left vacant for some time, and now is to be demolished later in the year. It is also alleged that the caretaker's bungalow on the former George Ward School site in Melksham has been vacant now for several years. We have thousands of residents on our housing list in Wiltshire, and it seems to me that it's madness to leave homes that we own empty when they could be put to use housing families that are in desperate need of a home," he said. "How many more empty homes is Wiltshire sitting on across the county that could be used to house families off the housing list?

The responsible Conservative cabinet member Stuart Wheeler says in reply that the council has a duty to maximise the value of the asset and selling it for housing makes the biggest profit. There is, he says, no shortage of employment land in Trowbridge. Obtaining planning permission for a change of use would not be a problem.

The site is not currently on the market, but is likely to be advertised later this year. Any aspiring property developers should contact the council's agents Carter Jonas.

Picture - the council chamber at Bradley Road in the good old days.