A ROW of eyesore shops in Colley Gate are finally set to be demolished now that Dudley Council has taken ownership of the site “at long last”.

The council has this week completed the purchase of 122, 124 and 126 Colley Gate following the serving of a Compulsory Purchase Order in January 2023.

The news means local authority now owns all four derelict shops, on the corner of Colley Gate and Colley Lane.

Campaigners have been trying to get the unsightly old shops demolished for years.

Resident Steve Hill welcomed the good news regarding the site and said: “I’ve lived down the road from these shops my whole life, so it’s sad to see the decline brought about by those derelict shops over the last few decades.”

Councillor Natalie Neale said she was pleased to see the council delivering on its pledge “to get this sorted once and for all”.

She said: “When I was elected in 2021, the one clear message I heard from Cradley residents was that they want the shops gone.”

Halesowen News: Cllr Natalie Neale, resident Steve Hill and MP James MorrisCllr Natalie Neale, resident Steve Hill and MP James Morris (Image: Cllr Simon Phipps)

Hoardings will be put up around the shops shortly, with preparations for demolition getting underway.

Councillor Patrick Harley, Dudley Council's leader, said: “It’s been a long road to get to this point and I thank local people for bearing with us, but our patience and perseverance has paid off and we are now in full control to take this development forward.”

Councillor Paul Bradley, deputy councl leader, added: “At long last we have taken ownership of these properties, which have been a blot on the landscape for too long.

“I know this project means a great deal to local people and I hope they welcome this major milestone, which will allow us to move forward with plans to demolish the properties and regenerate this corner of our borough.”

Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris said he was "encouraged" to see the steps taken by the council to buy the buildings and he said he would "look forward to seeing what they will be replaced with".

A block of eight affordable apartments is set to be built on the site going forwards, after planning permission was secured last year.