PRESSURE is mounting for a derelict former petrol station site that forms one of the gateways into Fleet to be cleaned up.
Residents living around the eyesore site on the corner of Kings Road and Aldershot Road have been campaigning for years to get it cleared up.
Now Hart Council is putting pressure on the landowner to act.
Martin Pendlebury, Hart’s planning manager, said: “The council has powers to secure the tidying up of the site.
“We have had some dialogue with the owner of the land in a bid to encourage him to look at the potential of redeveloping the site as a way of regenerating the whole area.
“The site is identified as a potential redevelopment area in a study commissioned by the council about two years ago.
“There is an outstanding enforcement complaint case on the site and we are in the throes of reopening it.
“The owner made some planning applications to expand his business for a car wash a few years ago but we refused them because we did not think it was visually or environmentally acceptable.”
The derelict land has upset a number of residents living nearby.
Margaret Davis, whose Kings Road home overlooks the eyesore site, said: “It really is a mess.
“It’s been like that for a good while, probably at least five years. Even if it was just tidied up it would be better because at the moment it just looks so derelict.
“The owner of the land put in a planning application for a car wash but the council turned it down because it would have created too much traffic — but where have they been for the last 20 years?
“There used to be a car wash there when the garage was open so I am surprised the council has gone down the road it has.”
Kings Road resident Sue Fisher said: “I feel very sorry for the residents who live opposite this bleak scene.
“The site of the petrol station has now deteriorated drastically and must give newcomers the impression that they are approaching a dump.
“If, God forbid, children were to play unattended in this area, or vandals were to make use of the materials lying around, havoc could be caused.
“It would seem sensible to allow the whole triangular site to be reorganised and improved.
“We cannot necessarily expect a smart brick building, but a reasonably styled prefabricated one with ample storage space would seem to me to be adequate and much preferable to the eyesore that currently meets the eye.”
Neville Timmins, of Marlborough Close, said he had been watching the site gradually deteriorating and becoming more of an eyesore for a number of years.
“For visitors coming to Fleet from Aldershot for the first time, the present state of the site gives a very bad first impression of the town,” he said.
The landowner was not available for comment as the News went to press on Wednesday. Colleagues at neighbouring Lynchford Tyre Company said he was on holiday.