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New Brierley Hill homes approved despite chemical firm concerns

By Annabal Bagdi | Brierley Hill | Property | Published:

Controversial plans to transform a former business site into homes have been given the green light.

The mix of houses and apartments will be built at the Bodykraft site in Brierley Hill after councillors approved the proposals.

It comes just a year after developers were refused permission to launch their housing scheme on the site over fears neighbouring Hammond Chemicals would be too noisy for residents.

Shaun Hammond, director of the chemical company, told Dudley Council’s development control committee the scheme would provide ‘poor residential amenities’ and claimed it was an ‘unacceptable development’.

He said: “We are a very busy, noisy, chemical site. We are now at risk of noise complaints. We have a good safety record but with hazards and risks, there is no guarantee. This block of land is allocated for industrial use.”

But the majority of councillors were unconvinced by his pleas to halt the development and gave the plans the go-ahead at Tuesday’s meeting. West Midlands Fire Service and the Heath and Safety Executive offered no objections to the plans at the junction of Dudley Road and Canal Street.

Developer Westleigh Homes will now build 32 homes and 33 apartments, including affordable housing, at the former vehicle repair business site.

A three-storey apartment block, which did not feature in the previous application, will act as an ‘acoustic screen’ and is expected to reduce noise from Hammond Chemicals’ warehouse.

Councillor Colin Elcock, who represents Norton, said he did not think the development was ‘viable’ and abstained from the vote.

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He added: “This type of housing is being aimed at young people who really have not much choice of housing.

“They are going to be living on top of a chemical works and living in an industrial area. Hammond Chemicals has been there for such a long time. There is noise generated.”

Councillor Asif Ahmed, who represents St James, said he could not find any ‘planning reason’ to reject the plans.

Annabal Bagdi

By Annabal Bagdi
@AnnabalB_Star

Senior reporter based at head office in Wolverhampton.

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