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Amesbury Co-op set for facelift
A NOTORIOUS Amesbury eyesore could at last be transformed as part of plans for new retirement properties and shops in the town.
Developer McCarthy and Stone has identified the former Co-op as the location for about 30 luxury retirement homes.
The project would be a joint scheme with Co-op and would also include smaller retail units.
The Co-op building has stood empty since the supermarket chain opened a new branch in Amesbury six years ago.
Vandalism and litter have blighted the site and residents are furious about the state of the derelict building, which they feel does little for the image of the town.
“If you ask anyone in Amesbury what needs to happen to improve the town they would say ‘sort out the empty Co-op’,” said mayor of Amesbury, Jan Swindlehurst.
“We’re trying to attract tourists but they get off their coaches and come face to face with that monstrosity.
“Amesbury isn’t vast and you can’t escape this huge empty building. People are more than frustrated – they want to take a sledgehammer to it.
“I think they feel anything will be better than what we have now.
“I would welcome retired people being able to live in the town centre and use the shops so more money doesn’t get spent out of the town.”
McCarthy and Stone is currently working on detailed proposals which will need planning approval.
“We are still at a very early stage,” said a spokesman for the company. “We have acquired an interest in the site.
“The first step will be a public exhibition and consultation where we can show the community our ideas and get their input.
“We will then submit the plans to Wiltshire Council and the project will be subject to planning permission.”
In recent years repeated calls have been made to Co-op to improve the appearance of its site.