Express & Star

Huge development planned for green space near famous Staffordshire Hoard site

A planned huge development on green space could provide a jobs boost if given the go-ahead.

Land off Barracks Lane earmarked for a major industrial development. PIC: Google Street View

Keyhill Developments Ltd want to create a number of units across more than 15 hectares of land off Barracks Lane, Brownhills, which will be used for general industrial, light industrial and storage and distribution purposes.

The land sits across the road from where the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found made up of 4,000 items, was discovered in 2009 on the Lichfield-Brownhills border, although a heritage statement said it was also metal detected and no ‘significant’ remains were recorded.

If approved, the largest new building would have floor space of more than 20,000 sq metres, while two of the units would be sub-divided into small- and medium-sized ones.

Walsall Council planning officers are expected to make a decision on the outline application in April.

The developer had submitted an application for the development last year but withdrew it before coming back with this latest bid.

Agents Cerda Planning said: “Having regard to the location of the site and the ability to meet the employment needs of the borough and wider conurbation, the site is well placed to create a unique attractive gateway development into Walsall from the north-east.

“A transport assessment concludes that the road network has the capacity to accommodate the development, safely, and provides a well-designed indicative site accesses.

“These modern units would be built to higher levels of sustainable development and are fit for purpose.

“There is already a small element of previous development land associated with residential properties on the site.

“The management of the ecological value of the site, generous green infrastructure alongside the canal and the use of sustainable drainage systems will in turn provide habitats to create a positive biodiversity enhancement, ecological benefits which go beyond mitigating effects of development.

“Approving this application will attract inward investment and provide additional spending in the local economy with long term indirect job creation through servicing, security, and maintenance contracts.

“The development will create a clear defensible greenbelt (and borough/district) boundary.

“Improvement to footpath linkages in a sustainable location offers transport choice, reducing the reliance on motor vehicles and the development would contribution towards canal towpath improvements.

“There are no alternative options for employment land of this scale in Walsall and no other green belt sites exist in Walsall of this scale which would result in such little harm.

“The application submission demonstrates that very special circumstances exist and that this outline application can be recommended for approval.”