Road rage fears over homes development in Walsall
Parking woes and road rage could increase with a new housing development planned for a former Walsall bakery, councillors have been warned.
Walsall Council’s planning committee gave the thumbs up to plans by Galliford Try Partnerships for 88 houses and apartments on the old Harvestime site on Raleigh Street.
Representatives for the company said the development would provide much-needed housing to Walsall and would help tackle fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour that was starting to blight the derelict site.
But ward councillors Khizar Hussain and Naheed Gultasib said the daily battle to secure coveted parking spots and traffic trying to pass on the narrow roads in Raleigh Street and adjacent Jessel Road had resulted in fights and flare-ups.
Planners said an informal arrangement had been in place with the bakery which allowed a few residents park on their land in Raleigh Street.
But they said the development would result in the loss of around five parking spots currently available to people living there.
Councillor Hussain said: “Residents have very strong reservations about this development.
“I was here in 2016 when the outline application was put before this committee and I told about the concerns of residents about parking, congestion, issues of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“I can’t agree with this application. The fact of the matter is people who live there have to suffer daily issues and problems of parking, of traffic, congestion and road rage.
“These issues haven’t been resolved. I understand there will be a development but you have to deal with these issues.
“There are no parking spaces there. People are fighting when trying to pass in the street.”
Councillor Gultasib added: “I’ve seen road rage incidents and problems in Raleigh Street. We need to take into consideration that the residents need to be heard.
“We’re not opposing the development but asking consideration be given to people who actually live there.”
A spokeswoman for Galliford Try Partnerships said: “The former Harvestime bakery site is ideally placed to provide new housing for Walsall.
“The site closed in 2012 and is vacant and currently an eyesore and attracted fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.
“It was granted outline planning application in 2016. The company worked with the planning authority to provide much needed affordable housing to benefit residents and the wider area.”
Planning committee member Aftab Nawaz, who voted against granting permission, called for Galliford to meet with residents to discuss the problems and try to find a way forward.
He said: “The community here is going to be disadvantaged. There is going to be a substantial negative impact not only on those living in Jessel Road and Raleigh Street but also the community that is going to be moving into the new houses.
“If people from the existing area start parking in the new area there will be more arguments and trouble there. We can foresee these problems will continue to happen.”
The committee resolved to delegate to planning to grant permission subject to finalising conditions, agree a section 106 agreement for affordable housing and contributions for highways improvements and road safety subject to consultation with highways to ensure parking issues be addressed.