Canalside homes plan raises concerns for firms on Netherton trading estate
Dozens of canalside homes could be built on an industrial estate in Netherton – but the plans could drive businesses there out.
A planning application has gone into Dudley Council to build the new development on the Bridge Trading Estate, off St Peter’s Road.
But if it goes ahead, the new development of 23 homes would mean the five businesses based on the estate face an uncertain future at the site.
J.C.Coaches has been on the site for 25 years, and owner John Molnar has said he is having ‘great difficulty’ finding a new base.
The coach company carries out school runs, trips and other journeys for local people, and has been running for 40 years.
Mr Molnar said: “We have been given three months notice to leave, so obviously we’re not happy. If we can’t find somewhere by May 31, we’re going to have to shut down.
“It’s hard finding a new place for a coach company.”
The Canal and River Trust has also submitted concerns about the impact the new homes will have on the quality of the water environment and the character and appearance of the historic canal.
Plans have been submitted by Springhill Property Investments for the 23 homes, which would be a development of red brick, two-storey homes with two bedrooms.
DPS architects have been assessing the site and said the area currently had a ‘run down’ feel to it.
Councillor Christine Perks, who represents the Netherton, Woodside and St. Andrews Ward for Dudley Council, said she was in favour of the development, which would bring a ‘very nice’ feel to the area.
She said: “It’s very welcome. It will be really nice – we do have a shortage of houses around here so this development will be welcomed. Especially if they are affordable homes.”
Noting the environmental concerns having the homes built alongside Dudley Canal, Councillor Perks said she thought it would make the area look more attractive, having the properties built alongside the water.
She added: “If you go across Purlin Walk, that’s on the canal, and a lot of the residents have incorporated fences onto the canal and they are delighted with it. It’s quite pleasant.
“I think it will make the area very nice.”
Councillors will discuss the application in the coming months.
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