Council homes development set for former city playing fields

Former playing fields are set to be replaced by a £5.2 million council home development.

Council homes development set for former city playing fields

Wolverhampton council wants to build 43 new homes on the fields off Burton Crescent and on derelict land next to St Stephen’s Church in Heath Town.

The scheme will feature a mixture of bungalows, houses and flats, and will create 80 new car parking spaces.

Each property will be available for 'affordable' rent and will be managed by Springfield Horseshoe Housing Management Co-operative once built.

Council bosses say a new nine-a-side football pitch will be created at nearby Grosvenor Street to “mitigate” for the loss of the field, which has not been used for several years.

Councillor Peter Bilson, the council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Housing and Assets, said: “Moving this redundant site forward is good news for the city as we aim to meet increasing housing demand.

“The planning application has now been submitted and, if it is given the green light, the funding for the development of these homes will come from the council’s Housing Revenue Account.

“To mitigate for the loss of the former football playing fields off Burton Crescent, the nearby open space at Grosvenor Street in Heath Town will be improved and a 7aside sports pitch (79m x 52m) will be provided.

"This is in addition to an upgrade to a neighbouring play facility at Burton Crescent that has taken place in recent years.

“One of our key priorities is to increase the number of decent, high quality energy efficient affordable homes available in the city. The tenants in these properties will definitely benefit from that and access to local amenities and a garden space.”

A contractor to build the new homes will be appointed in the New Year, with the development expected to take up to three years to complete.

The development includes six one-bedroom flats, five one-bedroom bungalows, six two-bedroom bungalows, 16 two-bedroom houses, four four-bedroom houses and a 'supported housing' unit of six one-bedroom flats.

The project is part of the council's wider plans to increase the number of decent and affordable homes in Wolverhampton.

It also one of several developments either underway or in the pipeline in Heath Town.

At nearby Cambridge Street, the redevelopment of the former Springfield Brewery into a new £110 million "super campus" is on-going.

At Sun Street, over the road from the Royal mail depot, there are plans to build a new Aldi store on an overgrown wasteland.

And the Heath Town estate itself is to be demolished from October after a £941,367.55 contract was awarded to Birmingham-based DSM Demolition.

David Hawtin, a neighbourhood watch leader for the area, was critical of the new homes plan.

He said: "The council seem to have a mania to build houses here, but to buy a house you have to have a job. You need industry to run alongside building houses."

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