***Many thanks to all who submitted a representation to the Inspectorate***
***PLANNING APPEAL DISMISSED ON 24th APRIL 2023***
Thanks to all the support of the residents, our local MP, our councillors and other local green space campaign groups the appeal was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate on the 24th April 2023, details can be seen on the link below:
HISTORY OF CLOCKFIELDS
1988 After a long history of the land being used for mining (similar to other areas nearby such as Withymoor) approval was given to Wrekin Homes to build on the site known as Clockfields associated with the old Clock House outside the entrance of the estate which has since been demolished
Mid to late 1990s - A number of houses subsided and were subsequently demolished. Residents on the estate at the time recall them sinking down to the bottom of the front windows.
In the late 1990s after land stability issues a report by Lomax and Lomax suggested changing the location of the green space and play area on the estate from one side to the other, building instead on the area adjacent to Coalbourne Brook on the West side of the estate.
In 2000 the council approved a land use change for the East side of the estate next to the canal (P00/51751) at the end of Culverhouse Drive and Silvester Way to become woodland and open space with the tree planting done as part of the Black Country Urban Forest
In 2009 the developers Wrekin Construction went into administration following the discovery of a forged ruby valuation being used to inflate accounts by millions - see here
19th May 2011 - The land on the estate went to auction with a guide price of £10k and sold to the current land owner, Kishore Balu (Director of Masterfreight in Oldbury) for £16k
In 2011 also as a result of the sale and to safeguard against development a Tree Preservation Order was applied on all the trees in the green spaces on the estate (TPO/0042/AMB)
In 2017 Mr Balu made two planning applications, one to build houses at the end of Culverhouse Drive which was withdrawn due to land stability concerns (P17/0317) and another to built a house at the canal end of Silvester Way (P17/0318) which was refused for being adjacent to a SLINC and Highway Issues.
In 2019 After ground investigation drilling, Mr Balu made another application to build at the end of Culverhouse Drive, P19/0185, which was withdrawn again due to land stability concerns.
In 2021 Mr Balu started a new application for the end of Culverhouse Drive, P21/0006, following some further ground investigation work which subsequently confirmed the presence of an underground opencast highwall (The unexcavated face of exposed overburden and coal or ore in an opencast mine, or the face or bank on the uphill side of a contour strip mine excavation) which requires special measures to be able to build on and can destabilise the adjacent land.
On 25th May 2022 the application was refused by a planning committee at the council. Neither Mr Balu or his agent attended and the councillors all voted against the application aside from one who chose not to vote. Presentations were made to the council by both the councillor and a resident.
On 22nd September 2022 Dudley Council approved the designation of the land between the estate and the canal as a SLINC (Site of Local Interest for Nature Conservation) at a cabinet meeting.
On the 18th November 2022, Mr Balu raised an Appeal to the Secretary of State just days before the 6 month allowed period for doing so had ended. This appeal requires objections to be made by the 2nd March 2023 with an appointed Inspector due to visit the site and make a decision on the appeal.
On 24th April 2023 the appeal on P21/0006 for 3 houses was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate
OBJECTIONS FROM THE MP, COUNCILLORS AND MAYOR OF THE WEST MIDLANDS
"Clockfields is part of a green corridor that leads all the way down to Corbetts Meadow - it is an oasis of blue butterflies, wild orchids, protected trees and just stunning walkways and should not be concreted over."
Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb
"This land adjacent to the Clockfields estate is a green corridor with significant ecological value.
Protected as part of the Black Country Urban Forest Project (BCUF) and planted with woodlands,
the site has now developed into a rich and diverse home for local wildlife."
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street
This specific Green space is part of a larger green corridor that is an essential asset to the local community and to lose it would be detrimental not only to local
residents but the rich wildlife that has long being established over the years.
In my view this area has already been sufficiently developed and this valuable amenity should remain as much needed lungs of the area.
Ward Councillor Paul Bradley
"The land is green space which people use for walking
dogs etc and there would be access problems with vehicles"
Ward Councillor Pete Lee
This location is a small green belt which was promised to residents in the past it would not be built on.
The clockfields is already very built up and we need to keep all our left green spaces. The land is Public Open Space
and Woodland and most of it is the "Exclusion Zone"
Ward Councillor Kamran Razzaq
PLEASE SUBMIT ANY COMMENTS HERE
Brierley Hill, UK