DEMOLITION of a row of derelict shops that have blighted Colley Gate for decades is expected to take place next month.

The decaying empty shops have been a blot on the landscape for what has seemed like an eternity, but work is now underway to have the eyesore removed once and for all.

Politicians have welcomed the news and said the demolition of the four "eyesore" shops, on the corner of Colley Gate and Colley Lane, cannot come soon enough.

Halesowen News: The eyesore row of shops in Colley GateThe eyesore row of shops in Colley Gate (Image: Google Street View)

Scaffolding is expected to go up from February 19, with demolition work set to start from February 26, the News understands.

The work is expected to take around four weeks and should be completed by March 22.

Cradley and Wollescote councillors Natalie Neale and Ryan Priest have told of their delight at hearing the long-overdue work has now been scheduled.

Cllr Priest, Dudley’s only Liberal Democrat councillor, said: “I’m 27-years-old and my entire life I’ve only known these buildings to be abandoned. I’m over the moon that work is finally scheduled to bring them down.

“It's been decades of work by campaigners, residents, councillors, and officers.”

Cllr Neale (Conservative) said: “The shops have been an ongoing problem for many, many years.

Halesowen News: Cllr Natalie Neale and James Morris (MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis) in front of the derelict Colley Gate shopsCllr Natalie Neale and James Morris (MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis) in front of the derelict Colley Gate shops (Image: Cllr Natalie Neale)

“It is with great emotion and pride to be able to tell local residents the start date for the demolition of the eyesore.”

Councillor Paul Bradley, deputy leader of Dudley Council and cabinet member for communities and economic delivery, said it was "fantastic news" and he added: "It's been a long time coming. I'd like to thank my colleague Cllr Natalie Neale for her work on this project - she's got it over the edge and now it's actually happening."

A block of eight new apartments is to be built on the site going forwards, after planning approval was granted in 2022.

The development, to be built by Dudley Council to provide affordable housing to people on the council housing waiting list, is to be named after late Halesowen South councillor David Vickers, who was the council’s deputy leader when he died in February 2022.

The 73-year-old stalwart councillor was considered one of the driving forces behind the campaign to tidy up the eyesore and regenerate Colley Gate.