Plan to build homes in grounds of historic Wolverhampton mansion are approved
Plans by a Wolverhampton entrepreneur to build three new homes on the site of a crumbling Georgian mansion have been given the go-ahead despite objections from a residents' group.
Wednesfield-born businessman Gerard Bailey, who runs the Diffusion clothes chain which has a store in the Merry Hill Centre had applied to renovate, modern and extend Stockwell House and neighbouring Grooms Cottage in Stockwell Road, Tettenhall, and build three new houses.
Wolverhampton Council's planning committee narrowly approved the application by his Fusion Limited company when it met on Tuesday afternoon, despite some councillors asking for an abstention whilst more investigations into the scheme was carried out.
Nearby residents objected to the plans in a recent meeting at nearby Wolverhampton Cricket Club and claim they weren't properly consulted, with the application having been 'rushed through'
Nine letters of objection were received, citing a number of reasons including the impact of the development on badgers and the conservation area, potential traffic problems and the devaluation of adjoining properties.
Kirsty Westwood from the residents' group who was at the meeting accused the developers of 'avarice greed' and claimed they didn't need to build three properties but could renovate the house – at an estimated cost of £250,000 – and then sell it on without further development.
She said: "This is a prestigious historical building which should stand on its own it the grounds in which it was originally built without further development with all the disruption that will bring whilst putting the houses up, never mind the increase in traffic, pollution in the area and the affect on wildlife.
"Many of the residents at the meeting at the cricket club had not received notification of the plan in adequate time to object and made their feelings known then but they seem to have been ignored by Wolverhampton Council."
Penn ward councillor Celia Hibbert said she was concerned about the plans to fell 25 trees to make way for the development, with 50 planted in their place, saying the existing ones were better for the environment surrounding them.
Oxley ward councillor Alan Butt said the building was in a terrible state of disrepair with the roof in danger of collapse and the windows needing replacing – he said if the decision was deferred it would mean a further delay in the 'essential' work taking place.
For the developers, Jake Sedgmore addressed concerns about badgers living in the grounds saying a new set would be built and all efforts would be made to restore the whole site to its former glory.
He said: "Access to the site will be kept within it, with a side road used for construction vehicles and residents when they move in, meaning the minimal disruption to people already living in the area and using the adjacent roads."