250-home plan for former Caparo site given approval
Plans to build more than 250 homes at the former Caparo site have moved a step closer after being given approval by planning bosses.
Walsall Council’s planning committee approved outline plans for the long-awaited scheme, subject to a section 106 agreement, when they met on Thursday.
The Caparo site in Birchills was put on the market after its owners applied for planning permission for 252 homes.
The outline planning application considered the access and scale of the development. The site will be accessed via Green Street, with a secondary emergency access via Rayboulds Bridge.
The 16.5-acre site, accessed from Green Lane and Old Birchills Lane, has stood empty for years following the manufacturer’s decision to consolidate operations in Oldbury, with the factory being demolished between 2007 and 2009.
Planning case officer Alison Ives said: “The site is the former Caparo works which has been vacant for some time. It is an outline proposal for residential development for up to 252 dwellings.
“Most of the buildings have been demolished, but some are still standing near to listed buildings.”
The plans were granted approval by members of the planning committee, but are subject to a section 106 agreement to secure affordable housing, highway improvements and urban open space unless the independent valuation confirms that the viability of the scheme would not allow for such a commitment.
Council leader and planning chairman, Councillor Mike Bird, stated that he would like to see the site redeveloped having stood empty for so long.
Harris Lamb is trying to find a buyer on behalf of the Law of Property Act Receivers.
The scheme had previously been backed by the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who said he hoped councillors would give it approval as it was ‘another step towards providing the housing we need’.
He said: “It is really important we reclaim land that has already been used for development as the focus of our house building efforts.
“We have committed to more than 200,000 new homes in the West Midlands by 2031 and the focus on brownfield means we can protect our green spaces.”
He added that the development would be ‘supercharged’ thanks to a £350 million housing deal from the Government.