A Chemical Romance

Yesterday I received a great email from top reader and blog contributor Andy Dennis, author of the wonderful and fascinating post ‘When the Lights go out‘ about the regeneration of the former Reedswood power station site in Walsall. I had indeed noticed the new Castings development being constructed, and recorded it in my 365daysofbiking mini-blog a few weeks ago.
I’d really like Andy to go into more detail about this engaging, informative subject. I’d be happy to publish any of your work here, old chap, and thanks for yet another excellent contribution to the blog.

Hello Bob

You’re probably aware of the activity on the old chemical works site in Lichfield Road. Anyway, here are some pics. Not great photography, but it was rather dull yesterday.

Once upon a time my specialism was concerned with industrial development and it was always a source of frustration that this prominent and relatively well-located site remained stubbornly disused. A difficult issue was dealing with contamination arising from chemical processes, such as lead, zinc, tars, phenols and various petroleum-based and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. I had begun to wonder if I would kick the bucket before any building took place, so now, after 40 years or so of dereliction, it is pleasing to see development in progress. The plans are for a warehouse of approximately 45m x 139m (about 7,600 sqm or 82,000 sqft) and 6.5m to the eaves. The project is to cost about £4 million and create 145 jobs, though 350 were lost in the recession.

Just how much work goes into preparing such a development can be appreciated by looking up the planning application ref 11/0432 on the Council website  and selecting ‘view all documents’.

I also have a few shots of the new Shire Oak Close housing development if you’re interested. It’s not the most inspiring architecture (even if one house type is “Chatsworth”), but if the Government’s draft planning policy framework is approved things could get much worse.

 Best wishes

Andy

Photo kindly supplied by Andy Dennis.

Photo kindly supplied by Andy Dennis.


Photo kindly supplied by Andy Dennis.


Photo kindly supplied by Andy Dennis.

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2 Responses to A Chemical Romance

  1. Andy Dennis says:

    I’ve just noticed I forgot to mention the warehouse is for Castings plc, who are among Walsall’s largest industrial employers (as opposed to distribution sites such as TK Maxx and One Stop). Presumably, the site has not proved commericially viable for other developers, probably due to the contaminants and made ground, but there was enough advantage for Castings to make it worthwhile.

  2. Pingback: A new bar for Brownhills? « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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