Express & Star

Controversial plan to knock down garage and ‘shoehorn’ flats in street goes to government appeal

A controversial plan to demolish a garage and ‘shoehorn’ in new flats could still be allowed to proceed despite being rejected by a council.

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Sandwell Council blocked a move by Manminder Singh to demolish a side garage in Brookfields Road, Oldbury, and build three flats, saying the new building was too big.

But the decision has been appealed to government planning inspectors, who can overrule Sandwell Council. They will be now tasked with deciding whether the decision was unreasonable.

The move, which included a new two-storey building containing one one-bed and two two-bed flats, was rejected by the council in March with the authority’s planning officers calling the move a “classic overdeveloped proposal". Planners said the application was “at odds” with what was already there and showed “no regard” other than gain.

“They have shoehorned a building on a plot in which it was not designed for", the council’s planners said in a report outlining the rejection.