Sandwell Council to proceed with preferred options on Brandhall development

Sandwell Council’s cabinet has confirmed it will proceed with the plans it approved in July this year to provide a brand-new primary school, around 190 new homes and the first new public park in Sandwell’s 48-year history at the former Brandhall Golf Course

The cabinet’s decision had been called-in by Scrutiny board chairs on the grounds that councillors may not have taken full account of assessments of total housing capacity in Sandwell, considered alternative sites for the delivery of a new school, or explained how public consultation results were evaluated.

The Council will now take forward plans to provide a new primary school to replace the existing Causeway Green Primary School, which is the worst condition school in the borough and in critical need of replacement.

The redevelopment will deliver a 26-hectare park as well as keeping the 1.47 hectares at the existing Parsons Hill Park. Space will also be provided for around 190 new homes, at least a quarter of which would be ‘affordable homes’ for local residents on the Council’s housing register.

The number of new homes needed in Sandwell is currently much greater than those being built. While Sandwell has a ‘brownfield first’ policy for development, even using all brownfield sites available will still leave a significant shortfall in how many new homes the government has calculated Sandwell will need over the coming years. Councillor Peter Hughes, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth, said:

“I would like to formally thank the Budget and Corporate Management Scrutiny Board for the work they have done on this matter and specifically for highlighting the three areas where they recommended further consideration be given by Cabinet.

“The report before Cabinet today covered those three areas and provided a very thorough and detailed response to each of them. Firstly, Sandwell’s total housing capacity assessment was not omitted from the report received by Cabinet in July this year but was not included as it was not material to the decision being made.

“Secondly, the report also provided sufficient information as to why Cakemore – which has significant contamination and other physical constraints such as active playing pitches - was discounted as an alternative site for the new primary school. Lastly, residents’ views were a key factor in the decision-making process and due weight was given to these when balanced against the strategic need for more homes and the critical need to replace Causeway Green Primary School on a new and suitable site.

“We are delighted to be proceeding with our plans to redevelop the former golf course and deliver a new, state-of-the-art primary school, new housing, as well as creating the first public park in Sandwell’s 48-year history. These facilities will serve residents of Sandwell for generations to come and help improve the quality of life in the community.”


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