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Brownhills civic square plans approved

A new civic square to host community events will be created on Brownhills land that has been vacant for 50 years.

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An artist impression of the proposed civic square for Brownhills High Street. Photo: Metis Consultants

On January 7, members of Walsall Council’s planning committee agreed to the proposal for the patch of land next to Kwik Fit on the High Street.

It is hoped the recreational space, which will be used to host a variety of events and seasonal market stalls, will bring more people into Brownhills.

Brownhills ward councillor Stephen Wade said he urged the authority to purchase the land for such use in 2017/18 and added he was delighted to see it progress.

Planning committee member Stephen Craddock – who is also a Brownhills councillor – said he used to sing in the choir of the church that once stood there when he was a child and he also welcomed the plans.

The new civic square will feature landscaping, street furniture and lighting, bicycle stands, play features and a curved gabion bench seating area.

There will also be a mounting point for a Christmas tree to be put up.

Councillor Wade said: “I’m really pleased the planning application has gone ahead and the fact that piece of land on our High Street is going to be regenerated.

“I encouraged the council to buy the land. We had a policy for investing in our district centres and I said we need something to bring more footfall in and for people to hopefully spend money in Brownhills.

“It’s not land for a market. We might have the odd bespoke market there but it is for putting events on for our community.

“Now it has come to some kind of fruition and hopefully, it will look great and we can put events on there.”

At the meeting, chairman Mike Bird said: “I hope it is the catalyst for regeneration in Brownhills and we will see this becoming a different area.”

And Councillor Craddock added: “That parcel of land has lain derelict for around the last five decades.

“Previously, it was the Wesleyan Chapel and I attended Sunday School and sang in the choir there when I was a child. It was knocked down in 1967 when the new Methodist church was built in Silver Street.”

“The public square will provide an opportunity for leisure, social gatherings, open air concerts, fairs and a craft market. It is a fantastic development for our High Street.”

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