Support sought over Banbury's Crown House plan

A community group in Oxfordshire has begun a petitioning in support of plans for a compulsory purchase order on a derelict local "eyesore".

Crown House in Banbury, a former office block, has been vacant for 20 years.

But Cherwell District Council wants to use an order to acquire the site and turn it into 40 flats.

"It is a major eyesore and a magnet for rough sleepers and antisocial behaviour," Sheena Gow of Cherwell Community Land Trust said.

"The existing owner has shown no intention to develop the site and it has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair."

Signatures from the petition will be used during a public inquiry to determine the granting of the compulsory purchase order in September.

The Crown House petition will be available for people to sign until 31 July.

If it is granted, and plans are approved, work is expected to start in 2014.

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