Plans for Walsall flats with potentially 'unacceptable living environment' rejected

Plans to build six new apartments in Walsall town centre have been rejected by councillors.

The corner of Portland Street and Garden Street in Walsall town centre. Photo: Google
The corner of Portland Street and Garden Street in Walsall town centre. Photo: Google

The proposed application was to extend the side of a property in Stafford Street, to create six self-contained, one-bedroom flats. However, the plans have been dismissed on the grounds they could harm the future development of offices in the surrounding area.

At present the site, which is located within Phoenix Business Park on the corner of Stafford Street, Portland Street and Garden Street, consists of a vacant yard and storage buildings. It falls inside the Blakenall ward.

It also lies within the wider Gigaport area, an office and commercial-led investment corridor centred around Walsall College’s Wisemore Campus, which still has opportunities for further development.

In a statement outlining the council’s decision to refuse the application, head of planning and building control Alison Ives said: “Insufficient evidence has been submitted to demonstrate that the proposal would not prejudice the future development of offices nearby and the wider Gigaport area.

“The proposal has the potential to result in an unacceptable living environment for intended occupiers.”

For many years the building was the headquarters of Walsall Windows and Property Maintenance Ltd, which supplied windows, glass and glazing components to the building industry, but has since ceased trading.

In between, the premises has been let on a number of short-term business leases, none of which have proved successful.

In the decision notice Ms Ives added: “Walsall Council seeks to work proactively with all owners, developers and their agents in the public interest to promote sustainable developments in the borough.

“The National Planning Policy Framework encourages pre-application discussion in all formats to help ensure that proposed developments are delivered in the most appropriate way that creates economic growth, suitable housing and other forms of development.”

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