Fears Cradley Heath’s former fire station at root of anti social behavour

Neighbours who fear an ex-fire station is at the root of anti social behaviour in the area are fighting plans to use the building as supported housing.

Mace Street, Cradley Heath
Mace Street, Cradley Heath

Residents on Mace Street, Cradley Heath, are objecting to a proposal to allow nine existing apartments be used for residential care.

In their report to Sandwell planning committee, council officers have said they have received complaints of ‘anti-social behaviour from residents in terms of playing loud music both in the apartments and rear yard area which included lyrics with offensive language’.

They added neighbours say they witnessed violent behaviour and have suffered verbal abuse and threats.

But planning bosses are recommending retrospective planning permission be granted for the nine flats and an office for support workers.

Addressing neighbours’ objections council officers say they have received assurances from the owners.

“The care provider has stated two individuals were incorrectly placed with them at the fire station which resulted in a number of issues,” they said.

“These residents are no longer at the property and the care provider has reviewed their assessment process for anybody who wishes to live at the property.”

They add: “The care provider has confirmed this application is not for a bail hostel.”

The former fire station closed in 2014 and was granted planning permission to be converted into apartments a year later.

Recommending the change of use to councillors a senior planning officer said the proposal is suitable, adding: “I am of the opinion the proposal would provide suitable accommodation for people with specific needs and with the effective management of the site, residential amenity of neighbouring properties can be protected.

“Whilst I sympathise with many of the issues raised by the objectors, my recommendation is based on an unprejudiced assessment of a residential use in this locality. “

Councillors will make decision on the application on December 9.

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