Express & Star

New homes approved next to Dudley nature reserve

Dudley Council has approved plans for 28 new homes on a derelict site close to a nature reserve.

The former Henry Boot Training site that will be developed to create 28 new homes on Stourbridge Road. Picture: Google

The homes will occupy vacant land that was formerly Henry Boot Training Ltd on Stourbridge Road which adjoins Buckpool and Fens Pool Nature Reserve.

The new development will consist of four blocks and provide 17 one-bedroom flats and 11 two-bedroom flats.

Outline permission had been granted for the scheme back in October 2020.

A statement on behalf of J&H Developments submitted for the outline applications, said: “The proposals will result in a significant number of economic, social and environmental benefits for the site itself and the wider area, primarily the provision of new housing within a sustainable urban location and the social and environmental improvements associated with the development of this vacant brownfield site.”

The latest application attracted three letters of objection from two nearby residents raising concerns about parking, security and a potential drop in air quality caused by new buildings blocking a flow of clean air from the nature reserve.

Council planning officers concluded the site is located within the urban boundary and, when viewed from the nature reserve, the development would be set against an already developed area so would not have a negative impact.

A report from planning officers also said: “Protected species are not considered to pose a significant constraint to development of the site provided the existing barriers remain in place and the development is contained within the footprint of the site.

“The area offers very limited foraging and commuting potential for bats due to the road and residential area acting as a barrier to the greenspaces in the east of the site.

“Badgers and hedgehogs may utilise the site to commute to suitable foraging and sett-building habitat, consequently, may fall into excavations and become trapped, causing harm or injury.”

Dudley head of planning, Carl Mellor, concluded: “In dealing with this application the Local Planning Authority have worked with the applicant in a positive, proactive and creative manner.

“The development would improve the economic, social and environmental concerns of the area.”