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Homes plan for old Great Barr hospital refused

By Gurdip Thandi | Great Barr | News | Published:

A bid to build five new homes on part of a historic former Great Barr hospital site has been thrown out.

An artist's impression of the homes

Walsall Council planners said the proposal for the four-bedroomed houses on part of the old St Margaret’s Hospital would have a negative impact on the Great Barr Hall conservation area and Green Belt it sits within.

Developers Bovis Homes said the properties would bring more families to the area and provide a boost to the local shops and services nearby.

Had the plan been approved, the houses would have been built on land on Lakeview Close, off Netherhall Avenue, near to Bovis’ Nether Hall Park development.

In the application, the company said: “This site presents an opportunity to provide a range of attractive new homes in a sustainable location.

“The designs have been considered to be sympathetic to the local area and rural setting.

“The application has taken into consideration all of the constraints associated with this parcel including access, existing landscape and wildlife.

“The increase in population will support the local economy and services and its overall impact will be beneficial.”

But, Walsall Council’s planning said: “This proposal is considered to be of poor design and layout which fails to reflect or enhance the character of the Great Barr Conservation Area, and fails to demonstrate that the development would not result in harm to the immediate and wider historic landscape, including the Grade II Registered Park and Garden.

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“The proposal would therefore result in substantial harm to designated heritage assets through the erosion of important characteristics, and there are no substantial public benefits arising which would outweigh the identified harm.

“This proposal represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt for which no ‘very special circumstances’ are considered to exist and would result in harm to the character and openness of the Green Belt.

“Insufficient information has been provided in support of this application to demonstrate that the proposal, including changes to the access routes would safeguard and enhance important and protected habitats and species and that it would not result in harm.”

Gurdip Thandi

By Gurdip Thandi
@Gurdo

Local Democracy Reporter covering Walsall.

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