AN ABANDONED piece of land which has lain derelict for more than 15 years will be transformed into a car sales yard.
The former landmark roadside transport cafe, known as Bob’s Cafe on the A45 in Stretton on Dunsmore, has sat empty since its closure in the 1990s and has been a target for squatters and illegal encampments.
A planning application, submitted to Rugby Borough Council on behalf of Guest Motors, has now been approved so the land can be used to sell cars.
The news has been welcomed by Cllr Howard Roberts, independent Rugby Borough Councillor for Dunsmore ward, who last year launched a campaign for the development of ‘brownfield’ sites around the town.
Cllr Roberts said: “The deserted Bob’s Cafe site has for too long blighted the stretch of the A45 near Stretton-on-Dunsmore. Although it has taken nearly a year to achieve, I am delighted we have finally been able to secure a brighter future for the patch of land.”
The campaign to develop deserted sites began after the arson at the old Crazy Daisy’s nightclub on a nearby stretch of the A45.
The incident led to Cllr Roberts calling for the planning department at Rugby Borough Council to be more vigilant against allowing derelict sites to lie dormant.
Cllr Roberts added: “We must do more to secure commercial buildings that have ceased trading and become derelict. Despite this success I am still encouraging the planning department to be more pro-active in the serving of enforcement notices to either ensure these sites are made available to the open market, secured or demolished.”
Previous applications to rejuvenate the site over the years have been rejected and Bob’s Cafe site was left unused, in need of repair and in an overgrown condition.
Cllr Roberts said: “With the new more relaxed planning laws, developers are focussing their attention on rural locations.
“But we must ensure that brownfield sites, that would be a enhancement to the area if developed, are built on before we even consider open green spaces.”