A week ago, I pointed out that much to my surprise, a planning application had just been submitted to replace the long-derelict shopping precinct in Brownhills – Ravens Court -with two new retail units and a gym.
The background on this sorry saga of the derelict shopping centre in Brownhills can be read here.
At the time of posting last week, detailed plans and documentation for the development had not appeared on the planning system – well, as I said at the time, they’d take a few days to appear and they have now – and are far more professional, detailed and comprehensive than I expected.
My warnings and caveats from last week still stand: this is ONLY A PLANNING APPLICATION. A planning application is just that; it first of all has to be approved, then it’s up to whoever submitted it to act upon it. Granting planning permission does not mean a thing will get built.
This may yet still be a diversionary tactic. But the comprehensiveness of the application means someone has spent a lot on this, so that’s something.
Beware, as we approach the next set of Council elections in May of sitting Councillors and political parties who will claim this is somehow a success and was their doing; the protracted and sorry saga isn’t over, has clearly not been influenced by any politician (as the near decade dereliction shows) and this isn’t a success until we have a new building and Ravens Court is carried finally carried to dust.
The application details are as follows, and the applicant is the current owner, Lightquote Limited, a London-based property company.
Application Number: 17/1131
Proposal: Part demolition of existing retail units and erection of 2 x A1 retail units with storage and gym at first floor and car parking and service area to the rear.
Site Address: SHOPPING PRECINCT AT, RAVENS COURT, BROWNHILLS, WALSALL, WS8 6EJ
Application Type: Full Application
Full Name or Company Name: Mr Schwimmer
Company Contact Name:
Address: Lightquote Limited, 22 Braydon Road, London, N16 6QB
A link to the application on Walsall Council’s Planning System can be found here but all the documents in that link at the time of posting can be accessed directly at the links below. I noted that the first two 3D models continue the hideous modern trend of gruesome two-tone shading and colour, whereas the the third one is more natural.
Proposed_Access_Routes 3 – 02-10-17.pdf
Proposed_Access_Routes 1 – 02-10-17.pdf
Proposed_Access_Routes 2 – 02-10-17.pdf
Sections_-_Sheet_1 – 02-10-17.pdf
I’m fully aware the usual moaners won’t like this: But that, I’m afraid, is tough luck they’re having. The parcel of land occupied by Ravens Court is so awkward in shape and level, I can’t see much else being done with it, and if you want to wait for something more to your liking, the rest of the town can’t: Solving this problem is paramount. This is a decent looking development making good use of the existing situation. It’s best that I’ll think we’ll get.
I have no reason to suppose that Walsall Council will refuse this application – there’s no change of use, there’s no substantive change in height and it seems reasonable. I hope it’s approved quickly and work starts soon, but I remain sceptical.
Have a good root through the plans, and see what you notice. Feel free to comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail for com. I’d appreciate your thoughts.