Old garages to be transformed into affordable housing in Walsall
Former garage sites that have become magnets for anti-social behaviour are to be transformed into affordable housing in Walsall.
Members of Walsall Council’s planning committee granted permission to build 10 two-bedroom homes in Margam Crescent and on land off Selby Way and Fountain Way.
Walsall Housing Group (whg), which put forward the application, said all properties would be classed as affordable and boost the area.
Councillors praised the social housing provider for the schemes, which are part of a wider plan to convert old garages into residential.
But members were also disappointed that housing group bosses had not negotiated with an existing neighbour to one of the proposed houses on Selby Way, who would lose direct access to his back garden when the development comes to fruition.
Jon Farnell said he wanted shared access as had been informally using the piece of land, which belongs to the housing group, to move his motorcycle and bins to and from the front of his house.
All the homes will be built using ‘advanced methods of construction’, which will see most of the units built off site before being delivered to the area – a tactic that saves time and reduces nuisance and disturbance to neighbours.
Rachel Taylor, representing whg, said: “The proposals look to bring under-utilised sites back into effective use.
“They are part of several vacant sites currently being considered by Walsall Housing Group to provide affordable housing to the local area with the proposals offering 100 per cent affordable housing.
“They aim to have a positive impact on the surrounding area.”
Walsall Mayor and planning committee member Paul Bott said: “I want to congratulate whg on taking these derelict sites that are fly-tipped, vandalised and bringing land back into housing that is desperately needed in this borough.
“Whg have taken the initiative and are getting rid of these sites and building houses that people want.”
Mr Farnell said that without the access that he currently uses, he would have to take his bins though his house from the garden to the front on collection days.
But Ms Taylor said there was no formal agreement in place or obligation to do so. She added the housing group had considered continuing the goodwill gesture but legal officers advised against it.
Councillor John Murray said: “I find it incredibly disappointing that a social housing company like whg can’t come to an agreement on a right of way.”
Committee chairman Mike Bird said he would write to Walsall Housing Group asking it to consider negotiating with Mr Farnell on the shared access.
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