Car showroom plan set for approval

Walsall residents are fighting back after a proposal to convert a former Walsall garden centre into a car showroom is set to be approved by planning bosses.

The site on Chester Road
The site on Chester Road

Wyevale Garden Centre, in Chester Road, Aldridge, closed earlier this year and members of Walsall Council’s planning committee are being recommended to give the green light to plans to turn it into a car showroom and sales centre.

But the proposal has provoked objections from nearby residents who are concerned about the impact the business would have on traffic and parking as well as fears it will create more noise and increase crime in the area.

Some people also believe it is inappropriate development in the green belt and could have a negative impact on the value of their homes.

However, planning officers said the development was appropriate use for the site.

If granted, the proposal – submitted by Sharaaz Ahmed – will see 15 full time and 10 part time jobs created with the business open from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday.

A workshop and reception area will be created while there will be room for a more than 100 cars on site including 20 on display in the showroom, 75 in storage and 30 parking spaces.

A report to committee said: “The current main building to the front of the site is of a permanent and substantial nature and appear to be sufficiently large enough to contain the new activities within their current footprint.

“The reuse of the existing buildings on site would not be classed as inappropriate development in the Green Belt.

“Only a small proportion of the cars for sale will be stored on the site frontage with the remainder being stored within and behind the existing buildings.

“The character of the area would not change significantly apart from the installation of a roller shutter, the overall design, style and buildings will remain as existing and is acceptable.

“Neighbouring amenity can be secured through effective screen planting and ensuring any plant, machinery and equipment are situated within building structure(s) or acoustically designed enclosures or at suitable locations and operational hours. The existing access to the site will be retained.”

Planners will meet on Thursday to discuss the proposal.

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