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Iconic glassworks plans at standstill

By Alex Ross | Smethwick | News | Published:

A planned revamp the iconic Chance Glassworks are is at a standstill - due to a skip hire firm remaining at the site.

Chance Glassworks

Chance Glassworks Heritage Trust is behind a £10m masterplan to transform the site of the empty factory.

It wants to build shops, homes and a lighthouse.

The lighthouse would represent the 2,000 Victorian lighthouse lanterns made from glass at the plant, which closed three decades ago.

However, the trust is unable to proceed through the planning process until the one last occupier at the site is gone.

The occupier, No 1 Skip Hire, has previously said they would not leave the site unless an alternative place was found for the business.

It was believed the firm would have moved on by November following the serving of an enforcement notice - but it remains at the site today.

Graham Fisher, spokesman for the trust, said: "The situation is we are continuing to wait for the final occupier to move on from the site - until that happens there is not much we can do apart from generate support.

"There is alot riding on this and we do not want to rush the process. We are happy to wait for an ending which will please everyone."

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The seven-storey factory is at the heart of an industrial area where there are seven Victorian Grade-II listed buildings.

It overlooks the M5.

The Smethwick plant was closed in 1981 with all flat glass production being absorbed by Pilkington’s St Helens factories.

Remaining glass tube processing was moved to Chance’s other branch in Malvern.

No-one from No 1 Skip Hire was available for comment last night.

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
Investigations Editor - @alexross_star

Investigations Editor at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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