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Developers hit out at Wolverhampton council over Goodyear site plans

Wolverhampton | Property | Published:

Developers of the former Goodyear factory site in Wolverhampton have submitted new plans to create 230 homes.

The entrance to the former Goodyear factory on Bushbury Lane in Wolverhampton

St Modwen has submitted the plans after the city council said the developers should provide a ‘strong case’ for more housing.

The council initially wanted to use the site for industrial units.

The developer has now submitted a 38-page plan that argues that the council’s development plan is out of date.

It states: “It was prepared at a time when the factory was operational and didn’t envisage its closure and redevelopment.”

The site has been transformed since 2009, into a housing estate with shops, a pub and leisure and community facilities. So far, 424 homes have been built there.

Now the developer hopes to convince the council that more housing is the right way forward, rather than new industrial jobs.

Indeed, the developer does not think the site is right for industrial re-development.

The plans state: “There is a good supply of land for employment elsewhere in the city, including along the Stafford Road corridor and those sites are more focused and better suited to meeting future, modern employment land needs.

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“The site in any event contains a former tyre manufacturing plant; its buildings are bespoke to its former use and not suitable for re-use to any meaningful extent.

“There are significant costs associated with the site’s redevelopment.”

Instead, developers suggest that the land is ideal for the building of the 230 homes instead.

The plans continue: “The proposed residential redevelopment will positively contribute to the supply of, and on-going need for, housing within the city.”

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Cyril Barrett, chairman of the Unite Branch at Goodyear said: “I think the land should be kept for industrial units.

“It’s too congested down there with the houses that are already along the Stafford Road.

“I think it’s important that the site is used to create jobs and employment opportunities for local people living nearby, as Goodyear did for so many years.”

Councillor Peter Bilson, cabinet member for city housing and assets said: “We of course need new homes.

“But equally, we need good quality employment opportunities for local people and this is perhaps the ideal site for nurturing industry and providing jobs like it has done for many years as Goodyear.”

No-one from St Modwen was available for comment.

The plan will now be considered by the council with a decision expected later this year.

Anyone with any views on the application should contact the council planning department or their local area councillor.

Jessica Labhart

By Jessica Labhart
@JLabhart_star

Reporter for the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton.

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