£3 million Pelsall canal bridge plan hit by delay
Controversial plans to build a £3 million bridge in Pelsall have been delayed by two months.
A planning application was due to be submitted in May to build a new bridge next to the narrow 1800s York's Bridge over the Essington and Wyrley Canal, but because there were so many consultation responses the council has pushed it back to July.
A proposal was thrown out by the Secretary of State in 2015 because it could encroach on common land in Pelsall.
Land at Moat Farm pool was identified for the 2015 scheme together with a strip of land to the east of Norton Road, south of the canal.
Now Walsall Council has identified land at High Bridges, Pelsall, for the scheme.
Sheila Lewis, the chairwoman of the Friends of Pelsall Commons, said that she supported the plans back in 2015 and was "disappointed" it was not "done and dusted".
She said: "This was going to be sorted three or four years ago and as a group we were behind it.
"There are several in the group that are behind this bridge but there are a few that aren't.
"Our interest is the common land that is would affect. There is going to be an exchange of land so we need to make sure we get some back.
"We're trying to protect our open spaces.
"We're as anxious as everybody else around here to know the outcome.
"It's disappointing that it's not done and dusted, but maybe there were too many people who were not agreeing with it."
Robert Vercesi, chairman of the Pelsall Civic Heritage Trust, said that he will object to the plans on behalf of the trust.
He said: "When they hold the planning application meeting hopefully I can speak to put my objections to them.
"We don't want a massive concrete structure on the approach to Pelsall as the old bridge can be strengthened."
Sim Mayou, member of the trust, added: "There's no need for the road, it doesn't do Pelsall justice.
"The compensation land being offered is nowhere near the common, it's miles away and almost in Brownhills."
Walsall Council said a start date for construction cannot be 'tightly defined', but that construction of the new bridge would take up to 18 months.