Express & Star

Flats plan at ‘difficult to let’ Walsall shops set to be rejected

A plan to convert empty town centre shop and offices which have been ‘difficult to let’ into new apartments is set to be rejected.

The disused building in Freer Street in Walsall is set to be converted into apartments. Photo: Google Street View

Developer Brian Trubshaw is looking to create a dozen new flats on properties in three buildings on Freer Street and Bridge Street in Walsall.

Seven of the apartments would be built on a vacant retail unit on Freer Street, while a warehouse connected to that building will be demolished to make way for a two storey property containing a further two flats.

The remaining three apartments will be created on the first floor of a property on the adjoining Bridge Street to complete the scheme.

This proposal originally went before Walsall Council’s planning committee in 2019 but officers raised concerns about bin collection arrangements so the plan was granted approval subject to conditions including a satisfactory waste management strategy.

But this has still not been agreed and the matter will go before planning committee members again on Thursday, October 5 with officers recommending it be refused.

The developer’s agent Paul Clifton Associates said the existing properties had been empty for a number of years.

They added: “The approval of this scheme will bring into use a vacant retail unit that has been vacant for a number of years and be difficult to let.”

A report to the committee said: “The matter of waste management has been extensively discussed by the original committee and it is necessary for the committee to revisit the decision.

“On balance it is considered that the recommendation within the original report should be changed to one of refusal.

“There is a lack of an acceptable waste management strategy for the proposed development such that a situation would be created whereby there would be a lack of control over the management of waste between the proposed units and the street giving rise to the potential for excessive noise odours and associated amenity impacts to future occupiers.

“No legal agreement has been entered into as part of this application to secure the payment of an open space contribution.”