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'Garden city' bid moves forward for Willenhall

By Thomas Parkes | Willenhall | News | Published:

Plans to regenerate Willenhall through an "aspirational" project to make the town greener have taken a step forward.

An aerial view of Willenhall above the railway line and The Keyway and Black Country Route in the south. Photo: Google

Council bosses are expected to appoint a consultant to oversee the Garden City project at a meeting this week, who will draw up a masterplan.

The project will aim to use existing green spaces, or potentially creating the areas, during any development in the town.

It aims to challenge the "reality and perception" of the Black Country while enhancing the area's legacy.

A statement from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has backed the Garden City scheme, said: "The Black Country was, and is still, very well known for its manufacturing industry, which is remains reflected in the character of certain town centres, such as Willenhall.

"As well as that, the Black Country has veins of multiple canals running through it.

"A 'Garden City' should embrace and enhance the legacy of the Black Country through incorporating these assets, rather than designing them out."

Walsall has been chosen as a pilot for the concept, which will take place along the A454 Willenhall Road between the borough and Wolverhampton.

A report to council chiefs, to be discussed on February 12, said: "Willenhall Garden City is an aspirational project that aims to promote transformational place-making within and around Willenhall district centre.

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"Willenhall is due to benefit from the re-opening of the Walsall to Wolverhampton railway line that will provide a new station within the boundary of the district centre and provide direct access to Walsall, Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

"Willenhall has also been identified as a pilot for the Black Country Garden City concept and is a key project within the Walsall to Wolverhampton Growth Corridor supported by the council, Wolverhampton Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority. "

Bosses at the authority will discuss the issue with a consultant, once one is appointed, with a timescale drawn up to how it will be delivered.

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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