A MOVE to demolish an ageing shopping parade in Tipton town centre has been given the green light by the council.

Up to 65 new flats will be built in Tipton town centre as part of the £20 million regeneration project by Sandwell Council and the authority’s planners have approved a move to demolish a row of shops and flats in Union Street to make way for the new housing.

The existing block of 12 flats in Union Street, which dates back to the 1950s, will be demolished with the land and the adjacent Albion Street car park used to build a new three-to-four-storey block.

The opposite side of Union Street, which is home to a barber shop, hairdressers as well as an empty shop, would be flattened alongside a council-owned car park to make for a new three-to-four-storey block of flats.

Kiddies Playhouse nursery in Union Street would stay in place.

The application by Sandwell Council said demolition work would begin next month and would take around four months to complete. 

Construction would then begin in 2025 with the work expected to be finished the following year.

Sandwell Council was given millions in ‘levelling up’ money from the government to invest in regenerating Tipton town centre and the main plans are demolishing 70-year-old flats in Union Street in Tipton town centre to make way for up to 65 new flats.

But plans to breathe new life into many empty shops and run-down shops in Tipton town centre were scrapped over rising costs.

Sandwell Council said the much-needed flats would address a chronic shortage of affordable housing and long waiting lists in Tipton and across Sandwell.

The locally listed but former and long-empty Conservative Club, which has now been vacant for some years, was recently bought by the council after its condition was rapidly deteriorating following a number of break-ins.

The two blocks of flats on either side of Union Street would be demolished with the shops – some of which are council-owned and have been empty for several years – not replaced.

More than half of the units in Tipton town centre are empty according to the council.

The council said the post office in Union Street was a “vital and important service” and would relocate to another part of the town centre.

The initial plans included four sites including Owen Street which has now been discounted due to rising costs.

The shops in Owen Street would get a ‘facelift’ according to the levelling up plans.