Plan for 200 new homes in central Brownhills approved

Untitled 8

This could be the largest housing development seen locally for many years. Imagery from Bing! Maps.

Way back in April this year, I first noted the consultation and plan to finally redevelop the wasteland in Brownhills that was once Silver Court Gardens, the notorious tenement maisonette estate that was demolished in 2004, into over 100 dwellings.

A planning application was duly submitted, an on June 26th 2014, shortly after the plans were submitted, I detailed them extensively here on the blog. They involved not only the Silver Court Gardens site, but also land around Humphries House and surprisingly, the former marketplace in Brownhills, for a total of 200 homes.

The Express & Star finally caught up with that application this week, three months after it was submitted and featured here. Their article concerning it is available here.

At a planning meeting on Thursday (18th September 2014), both applications were approved. Thankfully, the good old E&S were a bit more on the ball with that report, and the approval was reported in Saturday’s edition (20th September 2014).

To me, this is excellent news for Brownhills, particularly the town centre. Houses on this land will not only make the town look smarter and more occupied, they will provide jobs in their construction, and provide much needed footfall for local stores and businesses.

The notorious tenemnets of Silver Court Gardens had a terrible reputation in their closing years. It's almost impossible to imagine them now, but there wer five blocks in total. Photo taken from 'Brownhills' group on Facebook, uploaded by Jayne Brammer.

The notorious tenemnets of Silver Court Gardens had a terrible reputation in their closing years. It’s almost impossible to imagine them now, but there were five blocks in total. Photo taken from ‘Brownhills’ group on Facebook, uploaded by Jayne Brammer.

The selection of homes that will be available – some for sale, some for rent, a selection of flats, houses and bungalows for older folk – will encourage a good mix of people. I wholly support this decision and hope the construction starts soon.

I’ve included the details of the applications beneath the Express & Star piece for reader perusal.I welcome reader feedback: pleasedo comment on this post, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

The article isn’t available online, so I’ve transcribed it below:

Go-ahead is given for 200 new homes

Report by Craig Hughes

ALMOST 200 new homes will be created in Brownhills, includ­ing some on the former market square, after plans were given the go-ahead by councillors.

The regeneration scheme for Silver Street will bring ‘long-term benefits to the town,’ bosses at Walsall Housing Group have said.

It comes as a separate, plan for a back land development in Jesson Road, on the outskirts of Walsall town centre, was thrown out amid concerns from residents.

Members of Walsall Council’s planning committee agreed to the regeneration scheme for Silver Street, despite concerns over consultation with residents in nearby Humphries House, who wanted to keep a parcel of land for a garden.

Councillors agreed to support the scheme as long as a condition was imposed that the piece of land should remain for the resi­dents.

Alan Watts, development manager at Walsall Housing Group, said: ‘We believe the long-term benefits to the town and com­munity are huge and worth investing. We are happy to work with customers of Hum­phries House and planning officers.’

Collapse

The scheme also includes a further 40 properties on the old market site, which has been standing empty.

It first shut down in June 2009 after then landlords Spook Erections failed to agree a new contract.

Weeks later it was revived by council bosses but collapsed again in 2010.

Another company, LSD Promotions, ran it briefly before pulling the plug in 2011.

The application is split in two; the first application is the full, highly detailed proposal for 157 dwellings to built in phases around Humphries House and behind Silver Court. This includes a public open space to the south of the site. The second application is an outline, it’s an application in principle for 40 dwellings on the old market place, and proposes also a range of options for dealing with traffic in Silver Street. This is not a detailed application, but a drawing board exercise to see if such a proposal could be acceptable to planning; if it is, expect to see more detailed plans later.

Here’s an extract from the Planning Statement which explains the proposals thoroughly:

Street Scenes -1

Various street elevations showing how the Silver Court Gardens development would look from various aspects, and in relation to theexisting features of Silver Court and Humphries House. Image from documents submitted to Walsall Council. Click for a larger version.

3.0  THE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS

3.1  The application site extends to a total of 4.52 hectares. The Applicant wishes to redevelop the site to provide a high quality and sustainable residential development, with associated infrastructure and a new public park adjacent to the Wyrley and Essington canal.

3.2  As set out earlier, this is a hybrid application which seeks outline planning permission to use the former Market Square site for up to 40 residential units; full planning permission also is sought for 157 residential units on the Silver Court site. These proposals represent a significant investment in the local economy which will add to the existing housing stock with potential to attract additional investment. The proposals will also make a significant contribution to the Borough’s housing needs and will place new housing close to Brownhills town centre.

3.3  The full planning application consists 157 residential units comprising apartments and houses across the following sub elements:

  • A 4 storey height block of 62 elderly persons apartments. These will be 1 and 2bedroom apartments providing independent living with social and welfare support through a ‘Well Being Officer’ who will have a daily presence on site. This block of specialist accommodation will also include communal facilities in the form of a common lounge/kitchen area, consulting rooms for visiting GPs and physiotherapists and storage for disabled vehicles. The elderly accommodation will be made available to households which are in the ‘over 55′ age bracket’.
  • 39 general needs apartments comprising 1 and 2 bed apartments for rent.
  • 6 bungalows for rent which will replace 6 bungalows to be demolished.
  • 50 x 2, 3 and 4 bedroomed houses for general market sale.

The full planning application also includes proposals for a new canal side public park.

3.4  The outline planning application relates to the former Market Square site. This is the smaller of the two sites measuring 0.62 hectares. The outline application seeks to establish the principle of residential development for up to 40 residential units with means of access. It is proposed that all residential units on this site will be for general market sale. The planning application promotes three potential alterations and improvements to Silver Street; these are :

  • Retain the existing one-way traffic flow.
  • Introduce a section of two-way flow on Silver Street from the High Street to the Market Square site.
  • The full closure of Silver Street at a point close to Tesco’s car park to the west of the Market Square site and the introduction of two-way traffic flow from this point to the Silver Street / High Street junction.

All three access options are tested and examined through the planning application submission. An explanation of the three options are considered at Section 7 of this Statement.

Links to documents for plan 14/0767/FL described as ‘Full planning application for 157 residential dwellings with car parking, new estate roads, public open space, canal side park and associated infrastructure’:

Site Plan

The site plan for full application 14/0767/FL which covers 157 dwellings from around Humphries House to Silver Street, covering the former Silver Court Gardens site. Image from application documents. Click for a larger version.

Links to documents for plan 14/0771/OL described as ‘Application for outline planning permission for up to 40 residential units with means of access included (all other matters reserved)’:

Site Plan market

The site plan for outline application 14/0771/OL which covers 40 dwellings on the old market site, and outlines possibilities for modifications to traffic flows in Silver Street. Image from planning documents. Click for a larger version.

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2 Responses to Plan for 200 new homes in central Brownhills approved

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    good news indeed. New Brownhills emerging!
    The whole length of Silver Street needs to be made into a two-way thoroughfare….a measure overdue in my view.
    The housing plans look very good , and the creation of extra pleasant parkland by the canal is a masterstroke.
    kind regards
    David

  2. Isobel Dams says:

    It’s been a long time since I was last in Brownhills. Does this mean that the land on the right hand side of Pier Street leading down to the old iron canal bridge which once had the Wesleyan chapel, Goodall House, the clinic, canal cottages on it is to have houses built on it?

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