Express & Star

New application goes in to build homes on former Wednesbury mine site

A new move to build homes on the site of a former coal mine has been backed by Sandwell Council.

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The boarded-up land off Mounts Road in Wednesbury. A plan to build 45 homes on the former coal mine has been approved by Sandwell Council. Photo: Google

The application to build 45 homes off Mounts Road, in Wednesbury, was given the green light by the council’s planning committee after it was redrawn to avoid being built next to several capped mines.

The land has been earmarked for housing by Sandwell Council for several years and the planning application is in addition to a wider plan to build up to 365 homes on land around Mounts Road.

A plan to build 45 homes on the derelict and fenced-off site was approved by Sandwell Council in 2014 but the work was never carried out over concerns about the below mines – with around a quarter of the land now unusable because it is classed as a ‘stand-off zone’ which cannot be used for new homes by law.

The main issue is the capped mines are still visible which means the layout of the planned estate has had to be redrawn following several mineshaft surveys.

The restrictions and subsequent redesign have led the developer to include two apartment buildings in the plan and move all of the homes away from the capped mineshafts.

A statement included with the application said: “Despite the constraints posed by the presence of mine shaft caps, this proposed development has been sensitively and comprehensively designed to incorporate the whole site area.

“No landscape features of the current application site are to be retained, on the basis that it is of poor quality.

“As such, new tree planting and open space provision is proposed to enhance the character and appearance of the site.”

The new estate would include five-bed detached homes, two-and-three-bed homes, and two apartment blocks each with 12 flats.

The old colliery in Mounts Road was converted into a tip in the 1970s alongside new maisonettes. These were demolished in the late 1990s because of subsistence and the land has remained empty since.