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Homes plan would 'harm walkers and joggers'

By Robert Cox | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Plans for new homes at the site of a former environmental centre will increase traffic and pollute the air around a popular railway walk, it is feared.

total of 14 new homes are set to replace four large derelict glass houses at the site

A total of 14 new homes are set to replace four large derelict glass houses at what was the Wolverhampton Environment Centre (WEC) off Westacre Crescent, Finchfield, Wolverhampton.

Wolverhampton council has agreed to the plan in principal and a planning application is expected will follow.

John Rowley, who lives nearby, has written to the council's deputy leader, Councillor Peter Bilson, in a bid to convince him to drop the proposed development.

He said: "I am relieved that the council intends, at last, to demolish the derelict glass houses at the WEC.

"However, the proposal to build houses on the WEC is flawed. If the council follows the proposal an opportunity will be lost to leave something of real value to future generations."

He added: "The 14 houses on the WEC will be a cancer on our lung, the major green space in our city."

The council says the glass houses are not viable to bring back into use.

Under the council's proposal, the majority of the site will be absorbed into the Smestow Valley Local Nature Reserve, with 10 per cent of the land used to build up the two, three and four-bedroom properties.

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Details of the scheme came after the council secured at £285,000 grant from ERDF Blue Network to transfer the area to the reserve.

The local nature reserve will include car parking for walkers and self-managed allotments with parking spaces.

In his letter, Mr Rowley, added: "There will be extra traffic through the existing estate. Traffic will cross the ten mile traffic-free route that is the Railway Walk .

"This will affect not only walkers, joggers and cyclists but also the school children seeking to avoid the dangers of traffic and pollution on the main roads.

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"It will affect wildlife. It will affect the peace and tranquillity, the fresh air."

The glass houses were once used to grow flowers for the city’s parks and roadside displays.

It was later used to train young people not in education, employment or training in groundwork, but in recent years has not been used.

Mr Rowley said he would like to see the whole site given over to community use.

Councillor Bilson, said: "The small mixed housing development will support local housing needs and will be designed sensitively to fit in with the surroundings.

"The vast majority of the land will be turned into a first class managed nature reserve for residents and the wider public to enjoy in line with the Tettenhall Neighbourhood Plan."

Robert Cox

By Robert Cox
Senior Reporter - @rcox_star

Senior Reporter covering news in Wolverhampton.

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