Developer eyeing up 82 homes for former landfill site
A housing developer is eyeing up a former landfill site - contaminated with asbestos - to build 82 homes.
Land on Bourne Street in Coseley, Dudley, has outline planning permission for up to 100 properties.
Countryside Properties has written to nearby residents outlining its proposals for a mixture of houses.
They include three to four bedroom detached homes, one to three bedroom semi-detached homes and apartments.
Dudley Council rejected the outline planning application in October 2017. More than 500 people signed a petition against the plans.
Developers said they would tackle the contamination by capping the land and using clean soil on top.
Ward councillors fear the development would cause traffic congestion and strains on nearby schools and doctor's surgeries.
Councillor Adam Aston, who represents Upper Gornal and Woodsetton ward, said: "Given the land is contaminated, I wouldn't want to live on there.
"I have been opposed at every stage to the plans and I still am."
The site was formerly an open cast coal workings before it became a tip between the 1950s and1980s.
Planning documents say there is a presence of heavy metals and asbestos in the soil.
A report from the Planning Inspectorate said: "There is no doubt that there is strong local feeling about this proposal.
"However, the extent of opposition is not, in itself, justification for refusing planning permission.
"With the conditions proposed the local planning authority has sufficient control to ensure that this allocated housing site is safely developed."
But a second planning application is needed before any work can began to address "reserved matters", which means things like the layout and appearance of the proposed development.
Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise said: "This land is not owned by the council however we believe that the site owners have been in discussions with different developers who may have an interest in re-developing the site, which has a number of constraints, for new housing.
"The outline planning permission contains a number planning conditions which any developer will need to comply with.
"The currently interested developers are Countryside Properties who have recently carried out a consultation with local residents in terms of their initial plans and proposals as to how such site development could be undertaken.
"Countryside have not submitted a reserved matters planning application, but are seeking pre-application advice from the council.
"Any future reserved matters application will be subject to the standard planning procedure."
Adam Daniels, managing director at Countryside, said: "Countryside is currently in discussions with the landowner and Dudley Council to bring forward a residential development on this site.
"The proposed scheme would look to deliver in the region of 82 affordable family homes, on a vacant brownfield site benefitting from an outline planning permission for up to 100 units.
"The scheme would provide much needed housing in the heart of the Black Country, in-line with the Government’s brownfield first agenda, and would help ease the pressure on greenfield and greenbelt land currently being considered as part of the local plan review."