SERIOUS concerns have been raised over a former newsagents in Thelwall described as an ‘awful blot’ on the landscape.

Councillors and residents are stepping up their campaign over the property, which is located on the corner of Alderley Road and Thelwall New Road.

It follows major concerns in relation to the state of the building.

The building was previously home to a shop but has fallen into a state of disrepair and now ‘looks worse than ever’, according to campaigners.

Former council leader Cllr Ian Marks (LD – Lymm North and Thelwall) says: “This is at a high-profile location and is visible to everyone who travels along the main road.

“It is an awful blot on the landscape.

“But it is the residents who I feel most sorry for, who have had to put up with it for years and years.

“After a long period of neglect, the property was sold in 2016.

“I first became involved 18 months ago and I understand that, at that time, there were discussions between the new owner’s architect and the planners about an acceptable development.

“Last autumn, 12 months later, discussions were still going on about a scheme to demolish the existing building and replace it with a mixed-use development of commercial and residential units.

“I have many emails from Warrington Borough Council’s planning enforcement, planning, housing and empty property section about what is going on but nothing seems to be happening.”

Cllr Marks also revealed he had a conversation with the owner over the phone a number of months ago, as part of his attempts to make progress.

He added: “I believe some amendments to the original scheme were requested before Christmas.

“The council is empowered to take legal action by serving a so-called section 125 notice and officers have told me they have considered this more than once.

“Like many legal remedies, I suspect this takes time and it would be better to resolve the situation by talking if that were possible.

“Time marches on and we want some action and no more delays.

“It’s not just the visual eyesore, we are concerned about safety issues too.”

Warrington Borough Council has issued a short statement in response.

“We are working with the owners of the building who are aware of their responsibilities to progress this,” said a spokesman.