Staffordshire homes scheme back on the table despite flooding fears

A scheme to build homes at a derelict former Royal British Legion site is back on the table despite fears over flooding.

The derelict former British Legion site off Sterrymere Gardens, Kinver.
The derelict former British Legion site off Sterrymere Gardens, Kinver.

Plans for nine apartments at the site off Sterrymere Gardens and High Street, Kinver, were thrown out by South Staffordshire Council in 2020 due to a "flood risk" from the River Stour.

However, the scheme has now been revived, with developers planning to chop down trees to build an "emergency access route" into the site.

A design and access statement accompanying the plans says developers want to get to work on the scheme – which would include 19 parking spaces – "as quickly as possible".

The site of the former Royal British Legion building

The site, which sits in the green belt, has been derelict for around 20 years, after plans – including one for six two-bedroom homes and another for a 'play-cafe' – never got off the ground.

It has been subjected to enforcement action due to fly-tipping, vandalism and arson, and became a magnet for anti-social behaviour and drug abuse before the building was partly demolished in July 2019.

The statement, submitted by FOB Design, says: "The proposal retains the previous application proposal for a two-storey building of nine apartments on the footprint of the previous Royal British Legion, now largely demolished."

It adds: "Over the past few years,the fenced perimeter has been repeatedly breached, has been subjected to fly-tipping and generally looks unsightly on the walk through to the park.

"The site remains a source of local concern with periodic involvement from the police, fire brigade as well as local councillors.

"The new application is identical to [the last one] except that it also proposes an emergency access route into the site. This would require the removal of some of the trees."

The statement concludes that the new access road would remove the threat of flooding. It adds: "Almost any form of development would deliver a significant enhancement to the site than the present situation.

"Nine years of seeking commercial tenants led the owners to reluctantly conclude that Kinver is over-provided with cafes and restaurants such that a limited residential scheme may now be the only way to achieve this objective.

"It is acknowledged that a careful and understanding approach is needed to create a viable, attractive and positive addition to the village and the application seeks to fulfil this strategy."

Council planners rejected the last scheme in March 2020 due to the potential for flooding to the access road leading to a potential danger to life.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News