Trust’s controversial home goes under the hammer

7 Benson Road in Stratford-upon-Avon will be auctioned off in May

7 Benson Road, Stratford-upon-Avon. Photo: Mark Williamson

A CONTROVERSIAL property on Benson Road in Stratford will be auctioned off next month, bringing an end to a long-running fued between residents and Stratford Town Trust.

The trust bought number 7 several years ago with a plan to demolish it and build five new homes on a plot of land behind it.

But a planning application was rejected last July.

And in December last year the trust announced it would survey its 2,000 members to see what they thought the charity should do with a house it bought for £615,000.

Of the 615 people who responded, 74 per cent said the trust should not appeal against the planning committee’s decision and 49 per cent said the trust should sell the house.

The property will now be sold off at an auc- tion at Henley Golf and Country Club on Tuesday, 16th May, at 6.30pm.

q 7 Benson Road, Stratford.

The property has four bedrooms and a self- contained flat with two bedrooms of its own.

In the sales particulars the agent, John Earle, describe the .25-acre site as having ‘consider- able redevelopment potential’.

The sale has been welcomed by Rowley Fields Forever, an action group of residents that was set up when the town trust’s plans for Benson Road and a bigger part of the neigh- bouring Rowley Fields — on the lower slopes of Welcombe Hills — so 80 homes could be built on it first emerged.

A spokesperson for the group added: “This is the right thing to do.”

Speaking at the time the board voted in favour of selling the property on Benson Road, trust chief executive, Justin Williams, said: “The board of trustees has listened and now acted following input from the community and its membership.”

Residents of Benson Road have also con- firmed a High Court battle with the town trust has been settled. Neither side has publicly dis- cussed the matter and the Herald has been told confidentiality agreements are in place now it has ended.

Although it is understood to have related to the now scrapped development on Benson Road.