Express & Star

Clean-up of highly contaminated site in Walsall under way

A clean up of a hugely contaminated site in Walsall is progressing well as bosses look to use an eye-catching way to attract businesses to the area.

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Stacked 20ft shipping containers as adverts will be placed at the Phoenix 10 site off Reservoir Place to highlight the industrial space to let and job opportunities on offer.

HBD, Walsall Council and Homes England are transforming the space, which was once home to the James Bridge Copper Works, into employment uses with the aim of creating 1,000 new jobs.

In the application, agents Quod said the advert – for which five year permission has been granted by local authority planners – will ensure opportunities are secured at the earliest opportunity.

Planning permission for the redevelopment of the land, which sat empty for more than 20 years, was granted in 2021.

The area is riddled with gases and contaminants from its previous industrial uses although these are not harmful to anyone in the surrounding area.

Quod said: “The initial phase of remediation and ground preparation works are now well advanced.

“In an effort to ensure that jobs can be delivered on site at the earliest possible opportunity, the applicants are seeking to utilise the proposed advertisement as one element of the strategy to secure more interest in the subsequent phases of employment floor-space.

“The sign will be visible to motorists using the M6 motorway. However, the sign will not obstruct or impair sight-lines to the highway nor confuse a road-user’s view.

“It is of a functional design with a simple message, non-illuminated, and will not distract road-users.”

Earlier this year, an application to create the internal road structure that will serve Phoenix 10 was put into the council’s planning team and a decision on that is expected later this month.

The whole redevelopment marks the end of a long battle which saw years spent trying to get the site cleaned up.

A deal was eventually struck between property developer HBD, Walsall Council and Homes England to transform the 44-acre land with funding being provided by  the partners as well as Black Country LEP and West Midlands Combined Authority.