NEW HOMES: Fears for shops if Dudley plan is approved
A controversial plan to build new homes on Cradley land is set to be approved despite fears it could “ruin a thriving High Street”.
Members of Dudley Council’s development control committee are being advised to approve the proposal to build 10 houses and a bungalow on two parcels of land on Foredraft Street.
But a number of concerns have been raised by more than 50 people from 40 nearby properties who are worried about a raft of issues including the loss of green space, an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour and traffic.
There are also concerns about the impact it could have on nearby businesses with the loss of small amount of parking currently available on the site.
The site has previously seen plans for a mixture of apartments and houses earmarked which sparked even more fury amongst the community.
Planning officers believe concerns have been addressed and are recommending committee approve the plan at a meeting next Wednesday (April 28).
The proposal, submitted to the authority by S P Faizey Chartered Accountants, involves a six two bedroom and four three bedroom homes along with a single bedroom bungalow.
There will also be landscaping, a communal space and a new access road created as part of the development.
During the consultation exercise, one objector said: “If this development goes ahead, not only will it ruin all the 10 businesses that are at the top of Windmill Hill, you will also attract anti-social behaviour and increased traffic.
“All the businesses serve the local community as well as out of town customers, four car parking spaces are nowhere near enough.
“You cannot expect elderly or disabled people to walk up from the church car park, and certainly not expect them to park on already busy and congested roads – the sheer rise in traffic is dangerous.
“We have all worked so hard to develop a once boarded up high street, to be a busy and community spirited high street.
“The proposed gardens will only attract anti social behaviour, causing problems for all surrounding residents and shops, this was the reason it was fenced off years ago.
“This application has not been thought through, you will ruin a thriving high street for a few houses, please think again.”
Saeed Chafekar, of Windmill Hill Post Office, said: “On behalf of all the businesses on Windmill Hill, our main two concerns are lack of parking and the opening of a communal garden.
“Lack of parking spaces will drive the customers away from our already suffering businesses. Therefore more parking spaces are needed.
“Regarding the communal garden, we strongly believe it will attract the wrong crowd of people to loiter around e g. Drug users, alcoholics, littering, youths hanging around.
“At present everything listed is taking place causing nuisance and grievances to the local residents. Therefore matters will get worse if you still go ahead and create a the communal garden.
“Can you please think about using the space for more productive like more parking spaces e g. a car park which will be MORE beneficial to all.”
But a report to committee said: “The scheme has been sufficiently amended to overcome the original concerns.
“The revised proposals are acceptable in principle, bringing back into use currently underused previously developed land, to provide new housing, in the public interest, in an appropriate and sustainable location.
“The proposed development also secure appropriate compensation measures to mitigate for the loss of the existing car park and the publicly accessible open green space on site.
“As such, the development is acceptable in design terms, providing a high level of amenity of existing and future occupiers, and would not result in a severe highways safety concerns to warrant a refusal of the application.”
Words: Gurdip Thandi, Local Democracy Reporter
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