A PETITION signed by over 1,000 people calling for Cavendish House to be torn down has been presented to Parliament.

Ian Austin MP launched the petition in Dudley town centre last month and handed it into the House of Commons this week.

The independent MP for Dudley North told the House of Commons: "Cavendish House has stood empty for decades, it's been vandalised and it's dangerous. It presents a terrible image of the town and it's delaying and deterring investment."

He called for Dudley Council and the developers to 'get on' with the demolition so the multi-million pound regeneration of the site can begin.

Speaking after the petition was handed in, Mr Austin said: “I am really grateful to local residents like Sarah and Simon Townend and Gordon Laird and to staff and customers at businesses like the Arcade Café and Gather for helping gather so many names for our petition.

“1,500 people have signed the petition in just a few weeks and I think that shows how strongly local people feel about the Cavendish House eyesore that is blighting the town centre, deterring and delaying investment and presenting a terrible image of the town.

“Everyone wants the council and the developers to get it knocked down so that the redevelopment we’ve been promised for so many years can finally begin.”

The demolition of the building, long regarded as a blot on the Dudley landscape, was formally approved last April after Dudley Council's development control committee unanimously gave permission to an outline planning application submitted by developers Avenbury.

Once demolished, the site will be transformed as a £82 million multi-development of retail, residential and leisure buildings.

Speaking at the planning meeting in April, then-chair of the committee, councillor Asif Ahmed, hailed the plan as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to regenerate the town centre.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said: “The land is in private ownership and therefore any timescales on the demolition rest firmly with the owners – petitions like this have absolutely no effect on that process.

"That said, we are continuing to have very positive talks with the owners and we are as determined as ever to see the back of this eyesore building and kick start the millions of pounds worth of regeneration investment in that important part of Dudley.”