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Derelict buildings to be demolished for Walsall regeneration

Walsall | News | Published:

Long-standing derelict buildings are to be demolished to pave the way for town centre regeneration, after getting the go-ahead from councillors.

The empty units in Station Street, Walsall, will be cleared to free up a prominent site for redevelopment.

The site sits near to Walsall New Art Gallery and the town's train station and has been lined up by the land owners.

Some of the buildings have been vacant for 15 years and their internal layout limits the options for future use.

There are no firm plans for the site at this stage but has been highlighted as suitable for development. There has been residential complexes created in the surrounding area.

Part of the area is already clear after a huge fire ruined the neighbouring Boak building on the corner of the street two years ago.

Regeneration chief, councillor Mohammad Nazir, welcomed the potential redevelopment in the heart of the borough.

He said: "It is a good location for regeneration. It is in the town centre and will be a good one for regenerating.

"The developers will liaise and speak with the council officers. I am looking forward to working with them."

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Eighty firefighters tackled the blaze at the six floor Boak building at its height as thick plumes of acrid smoke were sent soaring into the sky.

Roads around the derelict Grade II-listed building, which used to a jeans factory, along with the nearby train line.

Formal permission for the demolition has been approved by the council. Head of planning David Elsworthy said: "In this instance the council has been able to support the proposed development."

An initial application was put forward more than a year ago but was deemed invalid. A fresh application has now been lodged.

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The application submitted through agent ASB Property Ltd Consultants, on behalf of the owners, said: "The proposals are to demolish the remaining buildings 8 to 13 and clear the whole of the site and to minimise the harm of the loss of the buildings we are proposing to erect temporary hoardings around the site.

"Currently the owners do not have any clear proposals to redevelop the site as they are in the process of instructing a planning consultant to prepare a feasibility report of the type of use in demand within the area.

"Clearly any proposals will be in joint discussion with Walsall Council in the near future. Some relatively new developments have taken place within the area which gives clues to the developing context. The art gallery and residential developments are of particular note as well as the Town Wharf development."

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