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Controversial Cradley retirement village plans get the go-ahead
2:00pm Wednesday 20th February 2013 in News
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build an £18 million retirement village in Cradley and build a road through Homer Hill Park have been given the go-ahead.
The council’s development control committee passed the plans for the former Cradley High School site on Monday night leaving campaigners fearing for the future of the park.
Midland Heart plans will build the retirement village, which will have 120 care units, and 11 houses in a bid to ease the housing shortage in the borough.
Cradley councillor Richard Body opposed the plans and fears Cradley’s park will be ruined as it becomes a building site.
He said: “My main concern was always access and whatever development was built on that site would cause problems.
“Building a public highway through a park creates safety issues for kids, dogs and sport users.”
He added: “I just hope Midland Heart do all they can to limit the dangers to park users, young school children and make sure there is no loss of the open green space given to the people of Cradley back in 1922.”
There are also fears that the 79 parking spaces allotted will not be enough in an area which is already blighted by parking problems.
The headteacher of Cradley Church of England School Marcia Harris also officially lodged an objection concerning the “traffic chaos” and “highways safety”.
The Dudley Council planning document urged councillors to approve the application at Monday’s meeting.
The document stated: “The proposed development would provide 120 extra care units and up to 11 dwellings on a previously developed site in an area which has an emphasis on housing growth.
“Amendments have been made to the proposal that ensure the proposal would not result in a detrimental impact on the occupiers of either existing neighbouring properties or the occupier of the proposed development.”
The document concluded: “The development would improve the economic, social and environmental concerns of the area.”
After complaints from residents Midland Heart lowered the height of the apartment block from four storeys to three and reduced the width of the access road.
Nick Byrne, Midland Heart’s deputy director of new business and development, said: “Getting the go ahead for our third extra care scheme in the borough is a great start to what will be a very productive year and takes us a step closer to providing high quality, affordable accommodation for the growing number of over 55’s in the region.
“We have demonstrated our commitment to listening to the local community and have acted on the feedback we have received so far. We will continue to work closely with our partners and nearby residents when work on the scheme begins in March”