'Urgent action needed' for Halesowen shops

Shopowners could be forced to carry out work on their premises following claims they are 'rundown eyesores' which could drive business away.

Councillor Stuart Henley, UKIP councillor for Halesowen North, has said a row of shops on Shell Corner are badly in need of investment. However local traders have hit back, saying that the area has seen improvements in anti-social behaviour and tenancy in the past few years.

Cllr Henley said owners of the business premises would be approached about making improvements – and warned anyone who refuses that they could be forced into action anyway.

He told the Express and Star: “There are a number of premises in the Shell Corner area that are absolute eyesores and a number of other shop and business owners who are not happy with these visual blights that are dragging down the area.

“The issue needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency as we do not want to see other businesses leaving the area. We need to be attracting further investment. Regeneration has gone on in main town centres but smaller shopping areas have been left out and need an injection of cash.”

He added that shopowners would be given a ‘reasonable time’ to complete the works and if anyone didn’t comply officers would look at ‘whether formal enforcement action is warranted’.

But employees at a branch of Costcutter confirmed that anti-social behaviour had improved recently, with fewer yobs hanging around outside shops and bus shelters at night.

However concerns about drugs have been prevalent around Shell Corner over the last year, with police stepping up patrols to try to deal with the problem. Plans to install CCTV to crack down on crime have also been put forward.


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