It seems a bizarre, defeated planning application that has been covered here before on the blog has been resurrected. The plan to demolish Brownhills Business Park currently existing on the former site of Walsall Wood Colliery, and latterly Brownhills Commercials was thrown out by Walsall Council, and subsequently by a government planning inspectorate tribunal way back in July. Apparently, there has been some error in the paperwork – it’s not clear whose error this is, although Walsall Council’s planning department are no strangers to Mr. Cockup – and now the people behind the plan, Ashtenne Industrial Fund, have reapplied. The council have duly refused since this article above was published, and the application is going for appeal again.
This whole scheme is mad, but we need to keep an eye on what’s going on. As I’ve pointed out several times, the colliery was used after closure as a disposal facility for industrial effluent and toxic waste, and I’m uncertain of exactly who would want to buy a house built upon such a site. With the Veolia – formerly Effluent Disposal/Leigh Environmental/Sarp et al – site next door now also up for sale, this is worrying.
Regular readers will know that I don’t object to such planning applications on principle – we need more good quality housing in Brownhills, after all – yet there are huge swathes of suitable land sitting derelict in the town without building upon a site massively contaminated by it’s mining history, before one even considers the problems caused by the sites subsequent usage.
I hope the Planning Inspectorate and Walsall Council stick to their guns. This idea is mad and should be rejected.