Derelict Black Country industrial sites to be transformed into hundreds of new homes

Two derelict industrial sites in the Black Country are set to transformed to provide vital new homes – following multi-million pound investment deals by the West Midland Combined Authority (WMCA).

The investment paves the way for developer Lovell to build 234 homes on the site of an old foundry in Fountain Lane, in Oldbury, and another 71 homes on the former Cookley Works site on Leys Road, in Brierley Hill.

The deals of £3.95 million for Fountain Lane and £1 million for Cookley Works will pay for the clean-up of the sites, which have stood derelict for more than a decade.

The schemes have been made possible under the WMCA's 'brownfield first' policy, which unlocks derelict industrial sites for new development – and help to protect green belt land in the process.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “Announcing two more major housing projects on brownfield land shows the commitment of the WMCA, alongside Sandwell and Dudley councils, Lovell and other partners to continue delivering for our communities during these difficult times.

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“The pandemic has hit the West Midlands harder than most, but these two schemes, along with the many others we have funded in recent months, will help our regional economy bounce back after this crisis by providing vital jobs, affordable homes, apprenticeships and space for communities to grow.

“It is vital we continue unlocking the region’s brownfield land in this way to deliver much-needed and affordable housing and employment across the region and protect our green belt from unnecessary development.”

Ideal

The Fountain Lane scheme will include one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as two, three and four-bedroom houses. A total of 49 per cent of the new homes will be for affordable rent and shared ownership tenures.

The Cookley Works site has stood derelict since the last business based there closed in 2007, ending more than 150 years of steel industry on the site. It will see 71 new homes, including a mix of affordable rent and low cost home ownership.

Commenting on the Fountain Lane development, Councillor Maria Crompton, Sandwell Council’s deputy leader, said: “This large piece of land has been vacant for a number of years. It’s great news for Sandwell that new life is now going to be breathed into this former foundry site.

“The site is an ideal location for residential development with good transport links and will also be providing much-needed affordable housing for Sandwell people.”

On Cookley Works, Councillor Ian Kettle, Dudley Council's cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: “New housebuilding and the regeneration of brownfield land like Cookley Works will have a key part to play in rebuilding our economy from this pandemic while protecting our green fields and wider environment.

“I am particularly pleased that many of the properties will be classed affordable, giving local people the opportunity of living in a modern, good quality new home.”

Work is expected to get underway at Fountain Lane this spring, with completion expected in 2025, while the work at the Cookley Works site in Brierley Hill is set to start later this year, with completion by spring 2023.

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