PLANNERS this week gave outline approval to a plan to build 66 new homes on the former MEB site in Halesowen.

Dudley Council development control committee gave the thumbs up to the application by A andJ Mucklow Group, on Monday (June 30), to develop the 1.53-hectare site off Mucklow Hill.

Fears the development could increase traffic on the already busy road and create extra potential for accidents were dismissed and committee members voted against a site visit to approve the plan.

Councillor Kieran Casey said: “I do not really see any problem with this in principal as a development.”

Residents, councillors and West Midlands Fire Service all lodged objections to the new development to no avail.

Speaking at the meeting Halesowen South Cllr Alan Taylor outlined his opposition to the application.

He said: "This proposal will only contribute to the traffic chaos on Mucklow Hill and Stag island and it will create an even more hazardous situation than exists at present.”

The application was also criticised at the Halesowen North and South neighbourhood forum last week at Olive Hill Primary School.

Former Halesowen North councillor Jeff Hill said: "There are very serious concerns about the access to and from the site.

"There are already either solid queues or a steady stream of traffic heading up Mucklow Hill to the Stag Island for large parts of the day.

"Vehicles leaving the existing office complex adjacent to the application site often end up sitting in the hatched area in the middle of the road, waiting for a gap in the traffic."

The new residential development will comprise of three buildings, block A will have eight three and four bedroom townhouses, block B will have seven one and two bedroom apartments and block C will have 51 two and three bedroom apartments.

Planning consent was given for a "high quality residential development" at the site in 2006.