Protest prompted by plans for retirement village on former Cradley school site (From Halesowen News)
Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HL NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Protest prompted by plans for retirement village on former Cradley school site
3:00pm Tuesday 18th September 2012 in News
CAMPAIGNERS are calling for people to back a petition against plans to sell off the former Cradley High site for development as a multi-million pound retirement village.
They are calling for Dudley Council to keep the land as public open space and encorporate it into adjoining Homer Hill park.
The former school site on Homer Hill is one of a number of locations being considered by the council and its partner housing association Midland Heart to become extra care housing.
Extra care housing apartments cater for the over 55s and feature communal facilities like hair and beauty salons, gyms and libraries.
Park user Val Bloomer attended a consultation into plans held by Midland Heart last week.
She said: “The proposed development would house hundreds of people so access is of great importance, but there is no safe access available.
“With the churchyard and St Peters Primary School opposite the park across a mainly single track road and pavement only on the park side, fears are that a swathe of the best flat area of the park would be taken to force through access via a widened Homer Hill Road.
“Even if it was, it still wouldn't make a busy road there safe.
“Another route could be via Ormonde Close which would be equally dangerous; it's narrow with a pinchpoint and blind corners.”
Val said many park users including adult and junior football teams were not aware of the consultation. She said there would not be adequate car parking for teams if the development were to get the go ahead.
Nick Byrne, Deputy Director of New Business and Development at Midland Heart, said: “We have reassured residents we are considering a number of options including the former exit and entrance to the school which will aim to provide a safe route.
“The proposed development is part of a partnership with Dudley Council to develop affordable, independent accommodation for the growing number of over 55s in the region.”
Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for Housing, Libraries and Adult Learning, said: "We are looking at a number of access options including the former school's entrance and exit points and of course safety is paramount."
To sign the petition visit www.cradleylinks.co.uk/news.htm