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No affordable housing on former Ever Ready battery site in Telford

Telford | News | Published:

Reluctant councillors have allowed a developer to move agreed affordable housing off one of Telford's most famous factory sites to be built elsewhere.

Black Country Properties, which is building 165 homes on the former Ever Ready battery site in Dawley, got the go-ahead to build 38 per cent affordable housing on a separate site.

Some members of Telford & Wrekin Council's planning committee expressed their annoyance at the u-turn at a meeting last night where the variation was agreed.

Councillor Nigel Dugmore said: "What really irritates me is I remember when we were sat here really thrilled with this application because it was going to provide 38 per cent affordable housing and a few months later the developer is saying we can't afford it. It's like the developer has the upper hand and we just lie down and accept it."

Councillor Ian Fletcher said: "They've promised us everything to get permission and then gone back on it."

But Councillor Shirley Reynolds said: "This is the entrance to our town park. This will tidy up a really tatty looking site that's been an eyesore for years."

Planning case officer Rob Price told members in his report: "Off-site affordable housing will allow the developers to maximise the land availability and cash-flow on what will be a difficult site to remediate."

Outline plans for the former Ever Ready battery site in Dawley were given the green light by the committee in October.

The 10-acre site on the edge of Telford Town Park has been empty since the factory was demolished in June 1995.

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Ever Ready set up its factory in Hinkshay Road in August 1956 and in its boom years more than 1,000 people – mainly women – worked there.

Its new use will be for two and three storey detached, semi-detached and terraced houses with between two and five bedrooms.

Black Country Properties Ltd, based at Stafford Park in Telford, wants to get the new build under way next year.

Work has already started on an entirely separate development by Entrench on the site of the former White Hart pub, which was next to the factory, to build 14 homes.

Alterations to the cash contributions from the developer were also approved.

Black Country Properties Ltd will now have to contribute £150,000 toward off-site affordable housing, £150,000 toward nearby recreation and leisure facilities and £200,000 towards primary education facilities.

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