AN UNPOPULAR scheme to build a block of flats in Cradley has been scrapped by Dudley Council and replaced with plans for new houses.

Cradley Councillors Gaye Partridge, Richard Body and Tim Crumpton, are welcoming the proposal for ten homes and one bungalow on Foredraft Street.

Residents had been up in arms over a previous proposal to build a block of 15 flats, a housing support office, four bungalows and a detached house on two council-owned parcels of land on opposite sides of Foredraft Street.

Scores of objections against the scheme were lodged.

In welcome news for residents the original flats plan has now been dropped and replaced with plans for 10 houses with gardens and one wheelchair-accessible bungalow.

The new plan will soon be out for consultation with local residents.

Residents were concerned about the loss of popular green space as well as parking for customers using local businesses including a florist, Post Office, pharmacy and laundrette on Windmill Hill, which the original plan would have caused. 

The new proposal has been welcomed

The new proposal has been welcomed

Gaye, Tim and Richard said: "We welcome the new proposals; we believe it meets many of the concerns expressed by our constituents.

"It is in character with the rest of the area, is not intensive and has green spaces around it and these are proper council houses.

"There is a proposal for a communal area and, sadly, there is a history of anti-social behaviour in that area.

"We think that developing this as a rewilding project providing a haven for wildlife would significantly reduce the risks of such behaviour as well as offer the introduction of plants that reduce pollution.

"We know that there will be concerns about the reduction of parking facilities to the rear of the shops in Windmill Hill but there will still be parking available, both there and further down the hill.”

They added: "These are new proposals that replace the scheme put forward late last year that was universally objected to.

"The proposal for high density flats was not what the people of Cradley either wanted or needed – what we want is housing for families with gardens for the children.”

The proposal for flats has been dropped by Dudley Council

The proposal for flats has been dropped by Dudley Council

Councillor Simon Phipps, of neighbouring Belle Vale ward. who also spoke out against the original scheme, said: "The flats have been removed, resolving concerns about significant over development in such a small space, and replaced by housing in keeping with its surroundings. It is also welcome that green space will be provided on the site to make up for the loss of the space on Highfield Road.

“Given where we were in November, this is likely going to be the best type of development that is possible on the site without it becoming unviable, and some form of regeneration here would be better than nothing at all.

"That said, it’s still important to make sure the council is aware what residents think about the new plans.

"I urge all residents to respond to the consultation on this planning application to make sure your voice is heard.”

Councillor Laura Taylor, Dudley Council's cabinet member for housing and community services, said: “We are committed to building new affordable homes across Dudley borough, making use of small pockets of land that are disused and absolutely ripe for development and I am pleased that we’ve achieved this successfully in numerous locations across the borough.

"On every occasion we consult with the local community about our plans and listen to any ideas or concerns they may have.

"On the Foredraft Street development, in response to initial feedback from local people, we have been able to reduce the number of homes proposed but still retain a viable development and a planning application is now submitted for consideration.”

Cllr Partridge, Crumpton and Body have asked for people to lodge their views on their Facebook site Cradley and Wollescote communities together, they said because they can't hold a public meeting due to coronavirus regulations.