A historic derelict Bloxwich factory could be converted into housing if concerns over coal mine workings underneath are alleviated.

Walsall Council's planning committee will consider the application to build 12 new flats on the site of the former Eclipse Works in Parker Street at a meeting on Thursday (January 31).

This comes just days after Black Country Live reported permission was given for 222 one and two bed apartment complex in place of Argyle Works, William House and the 19th century Greatrex House based on the corner of Navigation Street and Marsh Street.

Eclipse Works applicants Fusion Holdings Midlands want to build single storey buildings on the old stamping works site and retain and convert a two storey building there.

But the coal authority has objected to the plan after investigations uncovered a mine entry and said the development should not be allowed to happen until work is carried out to make it safe.

There are plans to build new flats on Parker Street
There are plans to build new flats on Parker Street
 

Members of the committee are expected to delegate the decision to planning officers who will grant approval, providing the issues are overcome.

A report to committee said: "A coal mining risk assessment has been submitted which identifies that there are coal mining legacy issues present on the site in respect of the recorded mine entry and shallow coal mine working and recommends that intrusive site investigations are carried out on site along with any necessary remedial measures, which it notes may include grouting and capping of the shaft.

"The Coal Authority have objected to the proposal on the grounds that further information and evidence should be obtained from the developer following intrusive site investigations to locate the mine entry and an assessment made of its current condition.

"The findings of these investigations should then be used to inform the layout of the development in order to ensure that adequate separation is provided between the mine entry and the built development proposed."

Some neighbouring residents also raised questions over the potential impact the development would have on their properties.

The former Eclipse Works was developed in the early 20th century and the two storey building is locally listed as "a good example of an unaltered group relating to Bloxwich's industrial past. A rare survival of a type of industrial building which was once common in Bloxwich."

 

Planning officers say housing would be an acceptable development on the site.