New homes plan revived for old valve works site in Bridgtown
Controversial proposals to build a housing estate at a former valve works have resurfaced a year after they were rejected - with the Government backing the latest scheme.
Schroder Property saw their bid for 93 homes at what is known as the 'Parker Hannifin' site in Walkmill Lane, Bridgtown, refused by Cannock Chase District Council's planning committee after the firm said it would be too expensive to deliver any affordable housing.
Since then Government authority the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has purchased the land with the intention of 'accelerating' housebuilding on the plot.
They have now unveiled there own scheme for 116 homes and vowed to allocate up to 23 of them for affordable housing.
But the latest plans come on the back of waste firm Augean, based nearby, raising fears about the risk of a disastrous fire spreading to homes in the vicinity should the flammable substances at their compound ever ignite.
Steve Buckley from the HCA, said: "Schroder's application was turned down because it had no affordable housing.
"We acquired the site from them, and we are a Government agency tasked with accelerating housing delivery. This is a brownfield site which has not been developed for many years and we have been working with the council to bring it forward.
"After a consultation in a few weeks we will look at putting a planning application in.
"It will be for 116 homes including 20 apartments, the rest will be houses.
"We will also provide provide an allocation of somewhere between 10 and 20 per cent affordable homes as well as open space."
"It is a brownfield site so there has been some issues in getting it delivered but we have stepped in to try and deal with those issues."
Regarding Augean's concerns Mr Buckley added: "We are aware of their concerns and the discussions they have had with the council.
"We have had a consultant team look at that and we don't think we have an issue as we are much further away (from Augean than the homes at Lakeside Boulevard).
"We are confident from our side that we can get this delivered."
A resident in the area Kelly Alexander was among those looking at the plans on display at Vine Court.
She said: "I think it will make the area better rather than being a wasteland.
"It will bring more cars to the area but I have come from Wolverhampton and Birmingham so I am used to city traffic. It is quite quiet here compared to the that."