Residents demand action on White Hart eyesore

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Fed up residents are calling for action on the site of the White Hart pub, which has been left derelict for more than six years.

People living close to the site have referred to the area, due to be developed by the Cambian Group, as an eyesore and are desperate to see something done.

Audrey Butler, who lives opposite the development in Shenley Road, has been campaigning for something to be done with the site since the White Hart closed its doors.

She said: “It has to come down, let them demolish it and give us back our car parking spaces. It’s all about the residents and even a sheltered housing scheme for young people would be a nice idea, no-one helps them.

“If they just knock it down that would be better than what we have to look at. The people who make the decisions don’t live here so they’ve got to have time for those who do.”

Cambian was given planning permission in February for a 32-bed, all male, mental health rehabilitation centre, a plan which has had a number of residents up in arms.

Tracy Robin, who also lives opposite the site, said: “I would rather have the eyesore there than what they are planning. It’s safer than that.”

The plans to approve the new rehabilitation centre were passed at a council meeting on February 16 but since then Cambian has not made any moves to start work on the site.

Councillor Nigel Long, who is also supporting the campaign, said: “It may be that the proposed development is not viable in the current economic climate and that because they have planning permission for three years they are biding their time. But that is not fair on residents who have to put up with this eyesore.”

A White Hart Campaign Group has been working to oppose the plans and was left frustrated with the council’s decision to grant planning permission.

In December last year thecampaign against the new centre received backing from MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, who raised the matter with chief executive of the council, David Hill.

A spokesman for Cambian said: “We concluded the purchase of the White Hart site in the summer this year.

“We are committed to progress with the development of this site to build a specialist mental health rehabilitation hospital for men. We aim to start work on this site in 2013 and will keep the community informed of our plans when they have been finalised.

“The site boundary has been made secure, the site will be levelled as part of the development process, this will not happen until work on this site starts.”