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Fury over sleeper factory proposal near Bescot station and M6

By Carl Jackson | Wednesbury | News | Published:

Neighbours are ‘up in arms’ about proposals to build a factory which will create 600,000 railway sleepers a year, and have vowed to fight the plan.

The derelict site

Network Rail wants to develop the manufacturing plant at the railway sidings at Bescot, which falls into the Friar Park area of Wednesbury, on the border with Walsall.

The site sits directly alongside the M6 southbound just south of Junction 9.

Network Rail announced the scheme last year saying it would secure 100 jobs in the region but residents have expressed fears about the impact, in particular noise, the visual appearance and effect on the environment.

They will get the chance to voice their concerns at an exhibition to be held at Friar Park Millennium Centre on Wednesday from 6pm.

Councillor Simon Hackett, who represents the ward, has backed residents.

He told the Express & Star: “Residents who live in Tiffany Green back on to the site. They have had enough as they already experience problems with the big Lidl there due to the visual impact and the noise.

“They also have to put up with the motorway and the big signs there. They are not happy and with this latest development they are just at the end of their tether.

“There is massive opposition to this, the residents are up in arms and I am on their side.”

Announcing the scheme last year Martin Frobisher, route managing director of Network Rail’s London and North Western route, had said: “Network Rail remains committed to the West Midlands economy which is why Bescot has been identified as our preferred location for the new factory that will retain the bulk of our sleeper manufacturing presence in the region.

“Bescot is ideally placed at the heart of the rail network to provide sleepers across Britain. We are in discussion with the local council to carry out an environmental assessment of the proposed factory and its impact on the surrounding area before we fully consult with local people and stakeholders on our plans.”A letter sent to residents about the exhibition said: “The event is an opportunity for our neighbours to see our designs for the facility and to raise any queries you may have on the development.”

Carl Jackson

By Carl Jackson

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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