Cavendish House demolition backed amid plans for major redevelopment
Cavendish House will finally be brought down after councillors backed plans to demolish the eyesore office block.
Members of Dudley Council's planning committee unanimously voted for the long-awaited scheme to clear the former Inland Revenue offices.
The offices, which are seen by thousands of motorists a week using Duncan Edwards Way, have been long been earmarked for redevelopment.
Council bosses approved an outline planning application developers Avenbury to tear down the seven-storey building, in Trindle Road, at Monday night's meeting.
A council report said the offices will make way for a £82 million development for retail and leisure uses along with new homes.
However the scheme has drawn criticism from Dudley Motors Vauxhall Dealership, also in Trindle Road, over the impact on business.
The meeting heard from company managing director, Stuart Grieveson, who accused planners of failing to consult the firm before the plans were submitted.
Deputy planning committee chairman, Councillor Jackie Cowell, said: "I think the impact on Dudley Motor Company is obviously regrettable but there will be impacts on other surrounding businesses.
"I think this (development) will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop a significant town centre area. We should take this opportunity and encourage it."
The company also complained that the development will "cause access problems for transporters" and it will lose parking for 17 vehicles as part of the proposal.
Mr Grieveson told the meeting he and his staff have been left 'very frustrated' over the plans.
"There has been a lack of consultation (with us) as a local major stakeholder," he said. "It is very frustrating for myself and my staff."
Committee member Christine Perks said Dudley Council should be "doing everything it can to help the needs of businesses".
But it was said at the meeting that Dudley Council will work with the firm on finding a solution, including to locate a new base to operate from.
Cavendish House has been empty since the 1990s.
The demolition will also help pave the way for a new Midland Metro Alliance tram line to be built through the town centre.
Other buildings nearby to Cavendish House will also be demolished, including the former B&Q building, as part of the multi-million-pound project to redevelop the town centre.
They include the former Rickshaw restaurant, a taxi office, a disused scout hut and the former Metro Bar pub.
In a statement today, deputy council chief executive, Alan Lunt, said: "Cavendish House has for too long been a symbol of decline on the landscape in Dudley town centre.
"This decision is yet another example of how Dudley is on the up, with over £700 million to be invested in the town over the next five years.
"This decision will see the building finally come down and work start on another exciting development for the borough.
"Along with the new bus and tram interchange, and the proposed Metro extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill which will run through Dudley, it promises an exciting future for Dudley.”