Long-empty former McDonald's building to become apartments

A “rundown” former McDonald’s restaurant and old pub in Brownhills will finally be transformed into new apartments.

The old Warreners Arms building in Brownhills
The old Warreners Arms building in Brownhills

Walsall Council’s planning committee unanimously approved a proposal by Fitzpatrick Group and Walsall Housing Group (whg) to demolish the Warreners Arms building on the High Street to make way for the scheme.

The 45 one and two bedroom flats will be available for affordable rent with the block managed by the housing provider whg.

The pub closed more than 20 years ago before McDonald’s moved on to the site. That closed in 2004 and the building has fallen into disrepair.

A car wash and valeting business has operated on the car park, securing temporary permissions for a number of years, which politicians said at least helped stop fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour occurring at the location.

But the proposal for a permanent solution to the site has been welcomed and the plans raised no objections or concerns during the consultation phase.

An artist's impression of how new apartments will look on the old Warreners Arms pub in Brownhills. Photo: Oakley Architects

Wakako Hirose, of planning agents Rapleys LLP, said: “The site is allocated for housing development however the site has been vacant for a number of years with the exception of temporary car wash use.

“As such, the site has been under-used and run down for many years awaiting regeneration.

“This proposal will bring a vacant site back into beneficial use and deliver 45 units of affordable housing to be managed by whg.

“The proposal will deliver a number of planning benefits – making the best use of brownfield land, delivering much needed regeneration and replacing a rundown site with a high quality development, significantly improved visual amenity of the site and surroundings and delivering affordable housing for local people of which there is an evident need.

“Your officers have confirmed the proposals are in line with planning policy. There are no outstanding matters to prevent planning permission being granted."

Committee member and ward councillor Stephen Craddock said: “This is a fantastic development of a site that’s been semi-derelict for 15-20 years.

“My company did the electrics when McDonald’s moved in to there sometime in the 1990s. Since then it has just been a car wash which has not been a suitable use for the site.

“You can see from the lack of objections from all of the parties and the local neighbours and the town that they are going to welcome the site being developed.

“We’re very pleased to see this development go-ahead.”

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