Enthusiasts block waterside development

Published: Friday, 03 July 2009

WATERWAY enthusiasts and boaters have scuppered a controversial plan to build a huge six storey apartment block by the waterside at Stourbridge.

Quadrant Land Partnership had appealed to the Planning Inspectorate at Bristol after their controversial proposal to build 86 new homes on the old Rolling Mills site off Canal Street was thrown out by Dudley Council planning department.

And now much to the relief of boaters and campaigners who believed the development would spoil the Stourbridge Arm, the appeal was thrown out by Inspector Andrew J Seaman following an earlier public inquiry.

Wanted a 'Brindley Place'

The developers had hoped the scheme would restore the waterside of the canal, referring to the waterside developments such as Brindley Place in Birmingham.

But the inspector disagreed, stating:

"I am of the view that developments within areas elsewhere, such as Brindley Place, Gloucester Docks, Wolverton or even Walsall, do not automatically translate, in principle or in scale, to the canal side location of the appeal site."

Campaigner Graham Debney, Chairman of Stourbridge Navigation Trust, enthused:

"We're delighted. It's good news for Stourbridge. We do not have a problem with the development of this site—we had a problem with the type of development they wanted to put down there."

He hopes the developers will come back with a plan more suited to the area, for he believes the area does need developing, but with nothing higher than five storeys, and would prefer to see lower buildings near the waterside and the taller buildings further back.