‘IT’S UGLY, it’s horrible, it’s anti-social and it’s about time some real progress was made’ – that is the message from Stroud district councillors who are demanding immediate action to begin converting Tricorn House into a care home.

Planning permission was granted over a year ago to transform the derelict office block in Cainscross into a 96-bed high dependency care home but no work has yet started on site.

Cheltenham-based Summerfield Medical Ltd, which was granted further permission in July to add a fifth storey to the building for staff accommodation, has also showed no signs of applying for the relevant licence via the Care Quality Commission, according to a Stroud District Council spokesman.

"This enormous disused building continues to blight the landscape and remains a magnet for anti-social behaviour," said SDC leader Cllr Frances Roden (Con, Painswick).

"It is an ugly, imposing monstrosity which is on display at one of the busiest locations in the district. But worse still residents have to put up with it day in, day out."

Leaders of all political parties in the council have united in calls to hasten an overhaul of the vandalised premises, which SDC unsuccessfully attempted to obtain through a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in 2009 after negotiations with owners Wellfair Holdings failed to bring about a satisfactory conclusion.

A government inspector dismissed the CPO due to the lack of a planning application from would-be-buyer Ecotricity, which campaigned to use the building as its new head office.

Labour leader Cllr Karon Cross, who represents the Cainscross parish, said: "It has so much potential as an employment site but it just sits there imposing darkness and misery over the area."

Her views were echoed by Green Party leader Cllr John Marjoram (Trinity), mayor of Stroud and a planning committee member for 25 years, who called the building an ‘horrendous eyesore’.

Committee colleague and Liberal Democrat leader Dennis Andrewartha (Cam West) added: "Whilst it has been given planning permission as a care home, it will not make a jot of difference until we see actual physical work on the site."

Built in 1972 as offices for the then Department of Health and Social Security, the building has since stood vacant for over a decade.

The SNJ’s attempts to contact Wellfair Holdings were unsuccessful and nobody was available to comment on behalf of Summerfield Medical Ltd.

SDC is eager to hear from organisations willing to purchase and redevelop the site and interested parties are encouraged to write to the council’s head of planning Philip Skill at Ebley Mill.