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New homes build moves closer for former environment centre site

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Environment | Published:

A controversial homes scheme alongside a popular green walkway has moved a step closer following the appointment of a contractor.

An artist's impression of the development

Spencer Metcalfe has been chosen to build 14 homes on the site of the former Wolverhampton Environment Centre (WEC) off Westacre Crescent, in Finchfield, Wolverhampton.

Council bosses say the homes will replace derelict buildings which have already been demolished and that 90 per cent of the original WEC land has been set aside for wildlife and opened-up to the public as part of the adjoining Smestow Valley Local Nature Reserve.

The development will be made up of two, three and four-bedroom houses.

The council said the Willow Gardens scheme would provide "family homes with ultra-low energy consumption".

The homes would be equipped with "super-insulation", resulting in "ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling and as a result have a minimal carbon footprint".

Bosses also said land around the homes had been designed to complement the wider WEC, featuring bug boxes, bat boxes, bird boxes.

It follows a backlash among locals over the decision to build at the WEC site, close to the old Smestow Valley rail line and nature park which is popular with dog walkers, runners and cyclists.

Work is due to start in the summer and is expected to take around year.

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A Wolverhampton Council spokesman said: “As a council we are aiming to become carbon neutral by 2028 and this scheme aligns well with that.

“We are delighted to be working with Speller Metcalfe on this very special development for WV Living and have been impressed by their expertise in this type of building project.

“We have worked closely with the Tettenhall Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and Finchfield and Castlecroft Community Association to ensure this small mixed housing development has been designed sensitively to fit in with the surroundings.

“It is also great news for residents and the city that following allocation of funding from the council and ERDF Blue Network Grant of £285,000, 90 per cent of the original WEC land has been reassigned as public open space, something for future generations to enjoy.”

Adrian Speller, Speller Metcalfe technical director, added: “Given the scale of the current climate challenge, it is more important than ever for us all to make efforts to live more sustainably so it’s fantastic to be working with WV Living to deliver these extremely energy efficient new homes."

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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