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Call for action on Hereford store fire site
FOUR years as an “eyesore” is enough for a prime site in Hereford city centre still waiting on a rebuild after one the county’s biggest fires.
The claim comes from would be Hereford MP Lucy Hurds who this week called on the site's owners and insurers to get restoration work underway.
Lib-Dem candidate Lucy has launched a petition to progress the work on the back of an open letter to the owners.
The site, said Lucy, was still an “eyesore” four years after fire ripped through what was the River Island store and its surrounds.
“We approach yet another summer with no sign of anything being done. With so much effort in promoting High Town and city centre shopping, it is not acceptable for this key site to remain neglected,” she said.
The letter asks the owners to publically explain why the work has not yet been done.Local Lib Dem volunteers will be petitioning shoppers over the next few weeks and then presenting the petition to Aviva Insurance and Omaha Nominees.
Last year, Herefordshire Council said outstanding insurance claims that stopped work on the site had been settled, with the site owner looking to appoint a contractor to rebuild the property.
Earlier, the Hereford Times revealed that the council would not take enforcement action to speed up re-development at the site.
The blaze that ripped through the former River Island and Card Factory stores in October 2010 was one of the biggest ever in the county, but the site has been sealed off since, despite a restoration project
being backed by council planners.
The council claimed the delay to restoration was related to the complicated insurance for the works and, in such circumstances, enforcement action would be “inappropriate”.
Speculation since the fire has linked River Island to the city’s newly opened Old Market shopping precinct.
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