AN AREA of woodland in Kidderminster has become an “eyesore” and a “health hazard” after being neglected for 20 years, it has been claimed.

The coppice, on the edge of Heronswood and Captains Pool Road, has now become so waterlogged that it is a danger for children attending Heronswood Primary School opposite the site, said Independent Wyre Forest councillor John Aston.

The land is believed to have been bought by Bovis Homes some years ago, but was abandoned due to the high cost of developing the site.

A spokesman for the housebuilding firm said it was keen to transfer the land to council ownership for free so it could make use of the land for the community.

Mr Aston said it had been left in an untidy state and used as a dumping ground for rubbish over the years.

“It’s become an eyesore,” he added. “It’s full of rubbish. The edge of the water is 8ft from the footpath.

“If the council is prepared to accept it, I think it would be a good idea for it to be tidied up for the community.

“It’s a danger to children because it’s quite deep and there’s water there all year round. If you went in to get anything, you could quite possibly sink into the mud.”

Mr Aston, along with fellow Independent councillors Peter and Helen Dyke, is now calling for the area to be fenced off or tidied up to make it safe for residents.

“We want Bovis Homes to tidy it up and fence it off so it’s not a danger to people,” Mr Aston said.

“It’s become a problem area, especially with all the rain we’ve had.

“Something needs to be done because it’s a health hazard, especially with the school opposite.”

The Bovis Homes spokesman explained: “This land should be transferred to council ownership as part of a legal agreement following our development in the area some years ago.

“We are keen for the transfer to take place and will hand over the land free of charge, allowing the council to develop it as an open space for community use."