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PLANNING: Biggest stories of 2021

PLANNING: Biggest stories of 2021

Dudley Hippodrome. Credit Google Street View

Dudley has seen some historical changes to its borough this year, as new planning applications and developments sweep through the town.

Here’s a look back on the biggest planning stories for the Dudley borough, as reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

1.  Hippodrome – Dudley Hippodrome is to be demolished after the government rejected a request to consider saving the venue.

Campaigners and the Theatres Trust want the 1930s building to be kept and are against council plans to build a university centre on the site.

Councillors approved demolition plans in November, but campaigners asked the government to review the decision.

The local authority said it had received £25m from the government to build a university centre, which would be operational by 2024.

The development will include a campus and provide higher education courses for the health sector.

2. Grand designs in Wollaston – Residents in Wollaston have raised concerns about a plan that could see a large detached family home built on untouched land that has provided a sanctuary for wildlife for decades.

Plans have been submitted to Dudley council to build a Grand Designs style four-bedroom single-storey property with basement and a detached garage and parking area on a strip of amenity land behind homes in Meriden Avenue.

Residents living in the street say the land has been left wild and undeveloped for more than 100 years – with many once offered the opportunity to rent it as additional garden space to grow fruit and vegetables.

3. Landfill site – The redevelopment of a Dudley landfill site into housing has been approved despite a four-decade battle by residents to leave the area as it stands over “toxic waste” concerns.

The former landfill site bordering Bourne Street and Cedar Avenue in Woodsetton, spanning over 2.8 hectares, was filled from the early 1950s until the mid-1980s, and has been of interest to developers.

Eight councillors attended the planning meeting in August. Five approved the application, while three councillors opposed the scheme.

4. New primary school – A £12 million Pens Meadow Special School site will bring two existing campuses together to create a state-of-the-art facility.

Serving 115 children, Dudley council planners rubber stamped the proposal to create the Pens Meadow Special School and independent living centre on Tiled House Lane in Pensnett.

The development will amalgamate Pens Meadow Special School’s existing two campuses in the area – Ridge Hill, off Brierley Hill Road in Wordsley and the Tiled House Lane facility where the new building will be constructed.

5. New Aldi – Aldi has submitted a planning application for a 1,254sqm new store on Bilston Street, in Sedgley, which will create 45 new jobs.

There will be four electric vehicle charging points, with infrastructure installed for additional charging points in future.

Words: Rhi Storer, Local Democracy Reporter

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