Walsall's tallest building to be transformed into flats
Plans to convert a town’s tallest building into flats have been approved.
Proposals resurfaced earlier this year to transform Tameway Tower in Walsall into homes.
A company called Prosperity Developments, submitted a planning application to Walsall Council to turn the site, located on Bridge Street, into 143 flats, which has now been given the go-ahead by officers.
Councillor Abdus Nazir, who represents the St Matthews ward where the building is located, said he was pleased to see the plans approved and hoped that they would boost footfall in the town centre.
He said: “Tameway Tower has traditionally been used as office accommodation but I think turning it into a residential site will make it look better for the area.
“I think it is good news for Walsall because we have a long-standing problem with accommodation in the town centre that we are really trying to fix, so this will help a lot.
“It will also hopefully increase footfall to the shops around the town centre and in turn provide a boost to our economy, so this is something to look forward to.”
The building, which is 14-floors tall, was originally built as office accommodation in the 1970s and is currently part occupied with offices on the lower ground and first floors and a number of empty floors that used to be used for offices.
A statement from chartered town planner John Jowitt on behalf of Prosperity Developments reads: “The proposal is not subject to any contamination issues or flooding and it will not give rise to any transport or highways issues, since the amount of parking required for office use of the space to be converted would be considerably greater than the proposed residential use.”
When the plans were first put forward, safety around high-rise buildings needing to be made safe and secure in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster in London was raised as an issue by councillor Mohammad Nazir, who represents the Palfrey ward and sits on the authority’s planning committee.
Councillor Abdus Nazir, who is Mohammad’s son, echoed that statement now the plans have been approved. He said: “It is something that I am sure has been considered by the developers and it is crucial the site is safe.”
Last month, landlords whg, who have 17 high-rise buildings around the borough, said it would be testing every smoke alarm in those buildings in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster. Other action taken by whg following the Grenfell tragedy includes having Fire Risk Assessment competent surveyors visit each of the 17 high rises.
Many councils and hospitals around the country have had checks done on their tower blocks in case residents and patients were at risk.