Express & Star

The Marmite effect of £5m Wednesbury storage unit

Looking like a a giant Rubik's Cube that can be seen for miles around, it is the building world's equivalent of Marmite – you either love it or hate it.


But the developer behind this controversial landmark in Wednesbury insists it is helping to put the area back on the map.

Work on the £5 million StorageBase warehouse off Junction nine of the M6 in Wednesbury began last November and once completed will contain around 1,000 self-storage rooms.

Opus Land Development, the company behind the construction of the 112,000 sq ft warehouse, has already completed the exterior and is currently fitting the interior and beginning work on landscaping the site.

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Richard Smith, managing director for Opus Land, said: "The building is in a position where it is passed by thousands of motorists a day and really put's the area back on the map.

"I was on site the other day and I think the building looks brilliant."

However, it has been heavily criticised by local residents and councillors who described the red, white and grey building as a 'monstrosity'.

They also raised concerns about the warehouse's long opening times and proximity to the already busy motorway junction.

"There is always going to be some people who don't like when a building like this is constructed," said Mr Smith. "But I've spoken to people walking past the site and I have had a number of them say how much they like it. Not only that but it also shields homes from the sound of the M6 and blocks their view of the motorway."

The development will create six jobs, and will be available to be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mr Smith added: "There is a real demand for buildings like this from small businesses that need additional space to help their business expand.

"This isn't only going to create jobs at the centre – it potentially has the chance to create a much larger economic impact for the area."

The building was granted planning permission by Sandwell Council's planning committee in September last year, despite a petition against it.

Opus Land is also working with St Francis Group on the neighbouring 22-acre Opus Blueprint site that is expected to create up to 500 jobs and is also in early talks with Sandwell Council to develop an area of land off Kelvin Way in West Bromwich.

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