Phase 2 public consultation launches for regeneration of Friar Park
Published 9th November 2022
The public are being invited to have their say on the regeneration of one of the largest brownfield sites in the region.
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) are working with West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to bring forward a long-standing, allocated housing site in Wednesbury, now referred to as Friar Park Urban Village.
The regeneration scheme will transform this 27-hectare (67 acre) site - most of which is underused and contaminated - into a community asset which should benefit both new and existing residents.
Initial proposals were first put to the public in 2021 and their feedback proved invaluable to the development of the plans. Since then, significant work has been undertaken in drawing up a draft masterplan. This exciting plan sets out how the site could provide much-needed, new homes alongside new high-quality, green spaces and facilities that respond to the local community’s needs and expectations.
The draft masterplan proposes around 630 high-quality, new homes, to complement and integrate with the existing community. At least 25% of these new properties will be classed as affordable/social housing.
Phase 2 of the consultation launches today (Monday, November 7th) and runs for six weeks. Feedback given during this consultation will help shape the final masterplan. This will help to form the vision for the future development of Friar Park Urban Village. It will also provide development and design guidance for developers so they can deliver solutions that fully support the aspirations for the site.
Cllr Mike Bird, the WMCA’s portfolio holder for housing and land and leader of Walsall Council, said: “This is one of the biggest redevelopment sites in the region, but it has sat empty for more than 30 years with no developer willing to take it on.
“Yet, by working closely with Sandwell Council and by using the money we have secured from Government for the WMCA’s nationally-leading, ‘brownfield first’ regeneration programme, we have been able to finally unlock this site to provide new homes and jobs for local people and reduce pressure to build in the green belt.
“The public gave us some valuable feedback when we put the initial plans to them last year and their feedback helped shape this draft masterplan. But we are determined that the final scheme meets all the needs and aspirations of the local community and I would urge everyone with an interest to have their say in this latest consultation.”
Cllr Peter Hughes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Growth, said: “This joint venture project with West Midlands Combined Authority is an important opportunity to regenerate a contaminated brownfield site and deliver much-needed new homes and wider improvements for people in Friar Park.
“Our draft masterplan sets out exciting proposals in response to calls by local residents and businesses, who have told us they would like to see new investment in the area. The proposed redevelopment will deliver hundreds of high-quality homes, at least a quarter of which will be affordable, new accessible open spaces and improved community facilities, and create a positive environment to attract new residents into the area.”
Both the WMCA and SMBC believe the development presents exciting opportunities for the community, providing an attractively designed, sustainable, and healthy new urban village.
The draft masterplan offers a landscape-led vision to create high-quality, green spaces throughout, including more than 1,000 (net) new trees, nature areas and other open spaces that include measures to safeguard biodiversity.
The development is also focused on providing spaces that people can use such as children’s play areas, a village green, playing fields and community growing areas. New pedestrian, cycle and transport links throughout the site would connect the new community and a new linear park with the surrounding area.
As part of the Phase 2 Consultation, the public are invited to attend drop-in public information events to view the proposals and speak to experts about the project.
The events will be held at the Friar Park Millennium Centre, Friar Park Road, Wednesbury WS10 0JS on:
- Friday 25th November: 12 – 4pm
- Saturday 26th November: 10am – 2pm
The public can also take part by:
- Viewing information and providing feedback on the website www.friarparkurbanvillage.co.uk
- Collecting and dropping off a feedback form to Friar Park Millennium Centre on Friar Park Road
- Sending questions and comments via: email to email@example.com, or post to FREEPOST Friar Park Urban Village (no stamp or further address details are required)
The closing date for comments is 9am 19th December 2022.