Planning Minister visits Lye

Housing and planning minister Rachel Maclean visited Stourbridge yesterday to meet with MP Suzanne Webb and the council to discuss how to regenerate the town.

The minister and Suzanne met at Halesowen Family Centre to talk about the Lye & Stour Valley Design Code that ensures the characteristics of the area are preserved.

They were joined by a host of councillors and Dudley Council officials working on the code including local Lye councillor, Dave Borley and Carl Mellor the Head of Planning at Dudley Council. The group also took part in a walkabout from the Family Centre down Lye High Street to the railway station.

The minister and Suzanne were shown a presentation detailing their plans for Lye. Major proposals include creating an urban village, more space for new industries, managing the best use of heritage assets, creating more green streets and spaces with the vision to make Lye an industrial garden town.

In practice, the council wants to take traffic off the High Street and put onto a bypass that is two-way, develop a mix of apartments and townhouses, improve the high street, create a new town square as a focal point for the community and seek conservation status for Lye. Suzanne said:

"I am very pleased the minister came to Lye today to see first-hand what myself, the council and the community want to see happen to improve the area.

“Lye needs help and with the support of the government, of the West Midlands mayor, the council and stakeholders we can transform the area. This ambition remains one of my priorities especially after the Levelling Up bid failed last time.

“But either through Levelling Up Fund pot 3 or through the West Midlands Combined Authority we can secure the funding and private investment we need to change Lye while keeping its distinct character.

“That’s why the design code is important and why the minister wanted to see the plans and the excellent presentation by the council. There is much to do but there is the will and the ambition to do it. Thank you to the minister and to all those who took part in a positive meeting.”


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