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Black Country eyesore to make way for shops and flats

Willenhall | Property | Published:

A Black Country eyesore which has been empty for around a quarter of a century will finally be demolished under new plans for the site.

The old bike shop will be demolished and replaced with shops and apartments in a two-storey development under plans

The former Daintys bike shop, in Stafford Street, Willenhall, will now be replaced by a two-storey development featuring a new retail unit and nine apartments after long-awaited plans were approved.

Bosses from Walsall Council’s planning committee gave the proposal the nod after it was put forward by Raj and Geeta Gupta who aim to redevelop the long-standing blight.

Walsall Labour group leader and Willenhall councillor Sean Coughlan said: “I support the application.

“This has been on my radar ever since I was elected back in 1995 and it has been an issue ever since.

“This proposal does represent what we are asking for as ward councillors.”

Concern

The approval comes after neighbouring businesses and residents have voiced concerns over the building’s deteriorating condition.

The building, which dates back to the 18th century, sits within the Willenhall Conservation Area.

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As as a result, Mr and Mrs Gupta have also found themselves in court and hit with fines as a result of enforcement action taken by the authority.

But the end of the saga appears to be in sight following the committee’s decision which now signals the go-ahead for the bulldozers to move in and flatten the buildings there.

Committee member Councillor Carl Creaney said: “This building is an eyesore and it is collapsing. It is great that the owners are now getting it redeveloped under these plans.”

Mr and Mrs Gupta’s son Mangesh told the committee: “The property has been in as derelict condition for years but we have come up with a scheme for sustainable development that will serve the town for many years to come.”

He added: “We are determined more than ever to succeed with this.”

By Gurdip Thandi, Local Democracy Reporter

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