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Call for action on derelict Willenhall buildings

By Charlotte Callear | Willenhall | Property | Published:

Council bosses have been urged to breath life into ‘desolate’ buildings that plague Willenhall to regenerate the town.

The former lock Legge Locks factory which was gutted by fire in 2016

Former lock makers Legge Locks Factory, on Moat Street and Stafford Road, along with the former Henry Ellard & Sons Ltd factory in Field Street once employed hundreds of workers but have been closed for years.

These are two of many boarded-up buildings said to be a magnet for antisocial behaviour, which includes the fire that ripped through the Legge factory in 2016.

Ward councillors Sean and Diane Coughlan want to see the iconic buildings turned into homes or businesses.

The former Henry Ellard & Sons Ltd factory in Field Street

They have launched a petition to put pressure on Walsall Council to use its powers of compulsory purchase to buy the derelict buildings.

Councillor Coughlan said: “These empty desolate buildings are blocks on the landscape and they are just dragging the town down.

"Any empty building is going to attract the wrong type of people. Young people are going in and setting fires or putting through the windows and people are squatting there.

"We want to change the ethos of the area and make it more welcome by transforming the buildings and we are calling on the council to use its power to support the area.

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"That end of town is a gateway for us from Wednesbury way and it is where our memorial is."

Walsall Council refused to comment until the petition is submitted.

The online petition can be viewed here.

Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear
@CCallear_Star

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office

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