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Apartment blocks approved in Hednesford

Industrial buildings are set to make way for three new apartment blocks on the edge of Hednesford – despite community leaders’ concerns the development will be “oppressive”.

The site at Brindley Heath Road, Hednesford. Photo: Google

The new development, which will provide 14 two-bedroom apartments, was given the green light by Cannock Chase Council on Wednesday (November 15).

The land at Brindley Heath Road is currently occupied by a tree surgeon and there is also a vacant compound area previously used by a vehicle recovery and scrap operator. The tree surgeon is set to move to a new location in the local area, the planning application form stated.

Existing buildings on the site will be demolished to make way for the new development. Two of the proposed new apartment blocks facing onto Brindley Heath Road will be two-storey, with the third and largest building, positioned on the corner of the junction of Brindley Heath Road, Station Road and Bradbury Lane, being part two and part three-storey.

Brindley Heath Parish Council objected to the proposals however. A letter submitted to Cannock Chase Council said: “The position, height and scale of the apartment buildings will result in an oppressive form of development to detract from the open and spacious character of the junction.

“The parking provision meets only minimum standards leading to the likelihood that an excess of vehicles and visiting traffic will park on the roadside creating safety issues on Brindley Heath Road and Bradbury Lane and nuisance to surrounding residents. The single access point serving all dwellings is relatively close to the crossroads/junction and will provide limited visibility to motorists entering and exiting the site when traffic is accelerating into Brindley Heath Road from the traffic lights at the crossroads.”

Cannock Chase Council also received representations from three objectors. One said: “It will affect the privacy of my back garden where I like to rest and work in private, which eases my anxiety and IBS attacks; my anxiety levels are raised at the moment due to these plans.

“One of my main worries are how busy this crossroads are without the danger of more vehicles pulling out so close to this dangerous junction. It is not safe for children or the elderly to have more vehicles added, not just the peoples vehicles that will be living there.but also all of the delivery vehicles”

The county’s highways authority raised no objections to the plans however. And Cannock Chase Council’s planning officers recommended the application for approval ahead of Wednesday’s meeting.

A planning statement submitted as part of the application said: “The proposed development has been carefully designed to make efficient use of this sustainably located urban brownfield site and make the best use of a prominent corner junction site in design terms, whilst respecting the character of existing residential development in the area. The proposal has been carefully designed with regard to potential for impact on neighbouring residential amenity, with regard to privacy and overlooking, with dwellings carefully sited and orientated.

“A total of 23 car parking spaces are provided with the rear courtyard style car park. Electric vehicle charging points are provided to six car parking spaces, promoting and facilitating the use of the electric car, and eight large cycle stands are provided in the rear communal areas, enough to accommodate 16 bicycles.”

Planning committee members approved the application after going on a site visit on Wednesday. Councillor Val Jones said: “It is a lovely development”.

Councillor Mike Hoare said: “I think it will enhance the whole area from what it is at the moment. It is going to be a fantastic amenity and we need the housing – I think it is wonderful in all respects.”

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