236-home plan for Walsall leatherworks thrown in doubt

By Charlotte Callear | Property | Published:

Multi-million pound plans for hundreds of swish waterfront homes on a historic former leatherworks in Walsall are in doubt – despite a wave of support.

An artist's impression of the plans

The development, described by regeneration chiefs as the ‘last piece in the jigsaw puzzle of the Waterfront’, has been scaled back from 301 to 236 apartments.

But the plans for the former Argyle Works site on the corner of Navigation Street and Marsh Street have still been recommended for refusal when they come back before Walsall Council’s planning committee tomorrow after objections again being made by police.

Police say residents would be at risk of falling victim to crime when using the proposed car park in Brook Street which they say is too isolated.

When the original application came before the council police also pointed out that 348 crimes were reported in the area in June this year. The project, which looked set to see 301 apartments built, was delegated to the head of planning to make the final decision.

Following discussions with the developer, the application has been amended to 236 homes with proposals to provide a further 75 parking spaces in Brook Street.

But police say lighting should be improved on the path between the housing site and car park site.

The planning says: “The isolated location of the Brook Street car park, lack of safe pedestrian route without the benefit of natural surveillance combined with known existing, and potential exacerbated, crime and anti-social behaviour issues, has the potential to result in harm to the safety and security of intended residents.

“The cumulative impacts of the development have the potential to result in significant road safety implications.”

But regeneration chief Councillor Adrian Andrew said: “It needs to be brought back to life. It really is the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle at the waterfront.”

Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office

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