Councillors have called for action to tackle an “eyesore” former pub in Burntwood.
The Royal Oak at Sankey’s Corner has been boarded up for a number of years.
But two Labour councillors, Eric Drinkwater and Sue Woodward, say urgent action is needed to bring the building back to use, warning that the site is holding back neighbouring businesses and attempts to improve the area.
Cllr Drinkwater said: “This site has been an eyesore for many years and the owners really couldn’t care less about the way it is blighting our neighbourhood.
“As long as the landlords keep getting the rent from the brewery and from all their other tenants, they just ignore all attempts to get something moving.
“We’ve pressed Lichfield District Council time and again to act but nothing has happened.”
Cllr Woodward said the uncertainty over the building’s future had impacted on local projects
“A couple of years ago, we’d set up a community initiative to make the place look a bit more attractive with murals by local schoolchildren,” she said.
“Just as we were about to start, a planning application was submitted so we had to pull the plug on it. Yet the application went nowhere and, month by month, the premises look worse and worse.
“It’s a real blight on the centre of the town.”
The Labour duo believe Lichfield District Council needs to back up words with action – and ensure the regeneration of Burntwood is given the same attention as the Friarsgate redevelopment in Lichfield.
Cllr Woodward said: “We’ve had lots of warm words from Lichfield District Council about the need to improve the shopping areas in Burntwood particularly this one.
“At last, we are seeing a new retail area being built through private developers but this doesn’t let them off the hook.
“We need to see the council putting money into this town as well as the city.”
The local authority is currently debating whether or not to foot the £49million bill for Friarsgate.
But Cllr Drinkwater believes residents in Burntwood should not be short-changed.
“It’s a question of fairness,” he said. “If Lichfield District Council is willing to put money – our money – into Friarsgate, they should do the same here.”