FED-UP residents living near a Cradley housing development have hit out at the 'eyesore' perimeter fencing saying its so bad it looks like a prisoner-of-war camp.

Eight homes are being built on the former Hatherton Lodge site on Windmill Hill - the former home of famous industrialist Noah Hingley - which had fallen into a derelict site before being demolished.

People living nearby are concerned the four-bedroom detached homes have been left with towering perimeter fencing which is an "eyesore" and makes the development look like a POW camp.

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Kevin Poolton, aged 61, of Ashbourne Ridge, said: "What we are left with I can't believe they think it's acceptable. 

"It looks like an entrance to a POW camp, it just needs a timber watch tower with a machine gun.

"It has to be best example of ‘lets just make it up as we go along’ - the fence is over seven foot high on top of an eight foot brick retaining wall – how can anybody in their right minds consider it attractive?

"It’s a real shambles.

"We are now left looking at the wall and fencing that can only be described as an eyesore and hope that potential buyers are left feeling that how could they live a development that looks like you are entering a POW camp.

"My neighbours and myself are frustrated with the end product and unless we highlight our concerns wider we will be left looking at a very poor end result.

"No major house builder would think the fencing and walling as being an attractive entrance to houses which are being marketed at £380K."

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Mr Poolton, who trained as an architect and works as a contract design manager, said neighbours in the street have had problems with the continued use of their road to unload materials and with the burning of rubbish on the site.

He said: "The development has been ongoing for over 12 months now and as neighbours we have had a constant battle with the builder/developer over issues such as frequent burning of rubbish, our road been covered in mud and we have had large scale deliveries in a small cul-de-sac.

"Despite raising our concerns to Dudley Planning Authority over a number of these concerns and having met with the planning officer on site we have been completely ignored."

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A campaign was run to try to save the lodge, which was home to Mr Hingley, who lived in the house during the 19th century, and was the owner of Netherton-based ironworks N Hingley & Sons which made the anchor for the Titanic.

Facebook group Save Hatherton Lodge amassed around 470 members,

But Mr Poolton said he was not against the development.

The developer is listed as Birmingham-based IAN Developments on documents submitted to the council.

Six of the homes are accessed off Ashbourne Ridge, with the remaining two accessed from Windmill Hill.

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Councillor Ian Kettle, Dudley Council's cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: “We take residents’ concerns seriously and last year our planning officers met with people who live nearby to hear their concerns.

“We continue to undertake regular site visits and have reminded the developer of their obligations.

“I would ask that anyone with ongoing concerns contacts the council.”

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