New apartment block to be built on former car park despite air quality concerns

Sunday, 28 January 2024 18:37

By Christian Barnett, Local Democracy Reporter

A new apartment block will be built on a former car park in Sandwell after previous plans for houses were scrapped.

The move to build three houses on the car park in Brades Road, Oldbury, was approved by Sandwell Council a year ago.

The applicant Jagvinder Relna then returned months later with a new plan to build nine flats in a three-storey building on the land with Sandwell Council granting permission to build seven flats under revised proposals.

The decision to allow seven flats in the three-storey building alongside 10 parking spaces to be built on the land comes after the council had earlier raised concerns about building just four new homes on the former car park – saying Brades Road was an area known for poor air quality.

The move to build on the former car park, previously used by nearby car rental company Enterprise, started in mid-2022 when Mr Relna took early plans to build four homes on the land.

The council replied by saying it was concerned about building more houses on land included in one of the borough’s pollution ‘hotspots.’
Brades Road remains in one of Sandwell Council’s priority ‘zones’ to improve air quality due to dangerous levels of pollution.

After raising concerns, the application was later approved by Sandwell Council.

“There are concerns with regard to air quality, as this development is located in Air Quality Priority Zone 5,” the council said in 2023.

“This is a priority zone for requiring improvement in air quality, as data collected from our nitrous oxide diffusion tubes located in this area (pre-pandemic) have demonstrated consistent exceedances of national guidelines for nitrogen dioxide.

"For this reason, there are concerns about this development plan, given that it would actively bring in more residents into an area of known poor air quality and for this reason, we would advise against it.

“This issue could potentially be managed through a high-quality mechanical ventilation and purification system, but we would expect to see details of the system up-front as part of any application.”


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