Website petition launched to save empty shop in Bishop's Castle
A petition has been launched to support a community land trust's hopes of turning a former Shropshire newsagents into housing.
The Bishop's Castle and District Community Land Trust has urged Shropshire Council to enact a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on 68-70 Church Street, the former Stars Newsagent in the town.
The trust claims the location of the shop, in the town's conservation area, means it should be preserved and they have plans to convert it into an internet hub for young people, as well as building affordable accommodation.
Having been empty since 2015, the building has been broken into, with copper piping ripped out, and the trust hopes a CPO will prevent any further damage.
A website, savethestars.org.uk, has been launched this week with a petition which people can sign showing their support for the trust's vision.
In response to the request, a spokesperson for Shropshire Council said: "Shropshire Council is aware that 68 -70 Church Street is an empty property and has been working closely with the Bishop's Castle & District Community Land Trust on their plans to convert this property into alternative uses.
"Shropshire Council is supportive of compulsory purchase, where necessary and where consistent with better regulation and enforcement policy, and is currently working on an empty homes strategy to bring properties such as this back into use. The Bishop's Castle & District Community Land Trust’s vision will need input from many different agencies and will also need to be financed."