DERELICT garages in Charford are giving refuge to drug dealers, claim concerned councillors who have urged housing chiefs to develop such sites to help eliminate the problem.

Charford councillors Michael Thompson and Kyle Daisley have asked Bromsgrove District Housing Trust to help them and the police remove anti-social behaviour and drug dealing from the estate.

The duo are also asking the housing trust – along with the police – to make inspections on houses where there is evidence of drug dealing, with a view to reviewing the tenancy.

In response, BDHT says it is committed to helping tackle anti-social behaviour in the district - and has evicted tenants engaged in criminal activities.

Cllrs Thompson and Daisley have written to BDHT's chief executive, requesting the trust formulates a strategy to develop derelict areas such as garage sites and disused parks.

"Since BDHT purchased the housing stock from the district council the garage areas have largely gone to rot because BDHT do not believe they are fiscally viable," claimed Cllr Thompson.

"My view is that BDHT has a responsibility to develop these areas so they are not honey pots for criminals to have cover.

"It is not all about money and – whilst these places exist – the police are faced with an increasingly difficult task to tackle problems in the area.”

Cllr Daisley added: "We want Charford to be an anti-social behaviour and drug free environment and I agree wholeheartedly that more can be done to develop the derelict areas.

"I have already volunteered much of my divisional fund to support this. We need BDHT’s help, however.”

In response, Graeme Anderson, director of housing and communities at BDHT, said: “We continue to work alongside partner agencies, including the local authority and the police, to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour across Bromsgrove.

"On rare occasions where serious criminal activity is proven, we have evicted tenants from our homes, however these issues are not isolated to our properties and tenants.

“We understand there is a small number of garage sites that are unsightly and are committed to continuing to review these.

"We have already invested in many of these sites to deliver affordable homes, where possible, however there are lots of priorities at present.

“We will continue to provide further support as part of the Safer Bromsgrove initiative, alongside the local authority, to help support sustainable communities.”