Developers encouraged to go ahead and build after 10 years of planning applications

Developers have been encouraged to go ahead and build new houses and flats in West Bromwich - 10 years after plans were first submitted.

Proposed development for land at rear of Vicarage Road, Arlington Road, and Ebrington Road. Photo: Sandwell Council
Proposed development for land at rear of Vicarage Road, Arlington Road, and Ebrington Road. Photo: Sandwell Council

The latest is the 10th application submitted to Sandwell Council since July 2011 for a residential redevelopment on land to the rear of Arlington Road, Ebrington Road and Vicarage Road.

The application was previously refused in August 2019 then subsequently allowed at appeal by the Planning Inspectorate in July 2020.

But work is yet to start due to previous difficulties accessing the site.

In the planning application, five three-bed houses and four two-bed flats will include a fourth bedroom in each loft and minor alterations to the layout and elevations.

The applicant has sought to utilise access to Vicarage Road only, and reserve Ebrington Road access for emergency use only, which would be gated. Access to Arlington Road access would be closed up.

Fifty nearby residents were notified about the application and four objections were received.

These include traffic concerns, parking issues, increase of crime due to the secluded nature of dwelling, fly-tipping and how up to 27 bins will be managed.

Councillor Julie Webb said: “The development has been going on for 10 years. Why hasn’t any work started?”

Jatinder Singh, Windyridge Property Investments Ltd, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said: “It’s been a really difficult site to develop. If you look at the history it had two access points from Arlington Road and Ebrington Road, and we physically couldn’t come up with a development strategy that could bring construction materials in. It is only since last year that we managed to acquire a new access from Vicarage Road.”

Mr Singh said he was asking for a new planning permission, including new conditions or old ones removed.

He questioned Sandwell Council’s reasoning for requesting for new information.

He said: “We have effectively got a new planning permission that sits alongside the old one. We are not trying to discharge conditions, off the old consent. We have got a brand new planning permission today.

“For example if we have submitted details about external materials, the council should have this on record. We don’t need to submit this again. It’s a pointless exercise. The old conditions can be removed or reapplied if no longer relevant.

“Why impose a condition requesting for more information that is already in your possession?”

Councillor Peter Allen said: “I have been on licensing ever since we had this one. I think really it’s changed, and changed, and changed. What we need is for this to finish and to get the development done. Or we’ll be here in two years time with a variation.

“It creates aggravation within the area as it’s surrounded by houses, completely this site, and it needs to be cease.”

Iqbal Singh, a chartered surveyor managing projects across the West Midlands, said: “We concur with your comments. Let’s work closely together, quickly to reduce that timeline and to cut it down.

"It’s already in with council and let’s get that discharge with hopefully planning granted tonight. We’ll submit everything post haste and start late November/December. It’s been a long time coming.”

Councillors approved the officer recommendations unanimously.

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