Express & Star

New plan to turn offices opposite ambulance HQ into flats after disruption fears raised

Another attempt has been made to convert offices on an industrial estate into new flats after the last plan was thrown out over fears it would be disruptive for potential residents.


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The move would see former offices at the empty Apollo House in Rounds Green Road, Oldbury, converted into 15 new flats.

An application to transform the empty two-storey offices was rejected by Sandwell Council last year over fears the potential new flats would be too noisy for future tenants.

The council rejected the move saying they were uneasy about allowing housing to be built in an “established” industrial and an “important area for employment purposes.”

“Uses such as heavy industry are likely to be substantially disrupted if they face complaints or legal action from neighbouring residential occupiers,” the council said.

“The introduction of residential into this isolated location which is surrounded by general industrial uses would lead to a realistic prospect that the proposal would disadvantage existing businesses as it could lead to restrictions being placed upon one or more adjoining premises arising from complaints of noise nuisance from residents.

The council said the “harm” could not be mitigated against “given the intensity of surrounding business uses.”

Apollo House, Rounds Green Road, Oldbury. The former offices could be converted into new flats

The council said the surrounding Rounds Green Road, Shidas Lane and Brades Road all carry high volumes of traffic – particularly lorries and HGVs – and are also home to the council’s highways depot and refuse centre and Serco’s waste management centre.

The huge new West Midlands Ambulance Service hub was also recently built in Shidas Lane.

A statement included with the application argues that those potentially living in the flats would not face any disruption from noise.

“The submitted [noise assessment] has demonstrated that there would be no noise implications from existing surrounding uses or activities on the occupiers of the proposed residential apartments,” the planning application said.

“Conversely, therefore, there is no reasonable prospect of noise complaints being raised or restrictions being imposed on existing neighbouring uses, as such would be unfounded based on the evidence presented."