Restaurant and flats scheme to revamp old Walsall leather factory

A derelict old Walsall leather goods factory will finally get a new lease of life after plans to convert it into a restaurant and shops were approved.

The building in Hope Street, Walsall, which has been derelict for around 20 years. PIC: Google Street View.
The building in Hope Street, Walsall, which has been derelict for around 20 years. PIC: Google Street View.

The 19th century locally listed building, at the corner of Caldmore Road and Hope Street, has been left in a poor state, with no roof for two decades.

But developer Hope and Barons Ltd have been granted permission for the proposal to create a new restaurant, two retail units and five apartments on the first floor above.

A scheme was originally proposed in 2018 which would have included demolishing the whole building.

But the applicants were advised the front of the building was locally listed and the proposal as it was would be recommended for refusal.

They drew up an alternative which will see will see the front of the building, facing onto Caldmore Road, retained and outbuildings at the back demolished to make way for redevelopment.

The original proposal did spark several objections regarding concerns over parking and the fact there were already a large number of food outlets in the area.

When the alternative scheme was brought forward, no fresh objections were received following a second consultation.

Walsall Council’s planning committee unanimously voted to permit the scheme, subject to conditions, without debate.

A report to the committee said: “This long-standing derelict mid-late C19 locally listed building at the corner of Caldmore Road and Hope Street was formerly used for leather goods manufacture with an industrial return frontage to Hope Street.

“The amended proposals have overcome the original recommended reasons for refusal.

“The applicant has worked proactively to overcome the concerns of the statutory consultees and made the proposal viable which would enhance the visual appearance and create new economic opportunities for the local area.”

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