THE closure of a main Halesowen road for a week is unavoidable according to the firm managing the project to build a new HQ for engineering firm Sandvik.

Manor Way will be closed from Monday September 13 until Friday September 17 while work is carried out to install a new sewer pipe and other utilities for the new Sandvik building.

The closure of the road in an eastbound direction will cause mayhem for motorists as the busy A456 dual carriageway connects to the M5 and has led to many people asking why it couldn't have been done during the school holidays.

People commented on the Halesowen News website. One said: "So let's close off a busy road when all the schools and colleges are back.... who gets paid to work this out!?"

Another said: "This is a total disgrace, why not close the road before the schools go back?"

The project is being managed by developer Stoford Developments for Swedish firm Sandvik, with contractor Benniman Construction carrying out the work.

Angus Huntley, Stoford Developments director, said there were a number of utility companies involved in the work.

He said: "The utility companies tell us when they can do the work. They answer to no-one.

"We would rather it had been done at a more appropriate time, we don't want to cause any disruption.

"We are based in Birmingham and have lots of employees travelling from Halesowen who will be affected by the closure, but we can not request a certain date and have to go with when the utility companies are available.

"We would have loved not to have had to close the whole road, but unfortunately it has to be done as part of the foul connection is in the central reservation."

He added: "I know it will cause headaches and delays for people and we apologise for any inconvenience caused, but we have to bite the bullet to get the work done."

Councillor David Vickers, deputy leader of Dudley Council, said: "Life might not be easy, but it's got to be done - there's no good time to close that road, whether the schools are back or not."

Sandvik, which has been based on the site since 1958, is building a new smaller office in a move which will safeguard up to 100 jobs after it said its existing base is too large.

It is hoped work on the new smaller HQ will be completed by summer 2022, which is when employees can move into it and work on phase two, to demolish the existing building and build the car park for the new building will begin. The whole HQ project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Part of the site will be sold off for around 80 homes. This is a separate development.

Manor Way will be closed eastbound only, between Grange Road and Cloister Drive.

The diversion will be via Grange Road, Vine Lane, Bromsgrove Road, Bromsgrove Street, Mucklow Hill, Kent Road, Manor Lane, and Manor Way.