Business leaders believe Walsall is on the cusp of a major residential and economic transformation as a result of 'Garden City' schemes in the borough.

Dr Chris Handy OBE, deputy chair of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said Walsall was already being enhanced with the potential for thousands more homes being built and businesses being attracted to the area.

He was speaking at a meeting of Walsall Council's economy and environment overview and scrutiny committee meeting on Tuesday (January 15) night.

Land off Goscote Lodge Crescent where hundreds of homes are planned
Land off Goscote Lodge Crescent where hundreds of homes are planned
 

The LEP's Garden City projects aims to invest £6 billion across the Black Country and build 45,000 new houses over the next 10 years.

They will utilise under-used land and green spaces as well as connect to transport links, local amenities and support the growth of new business in the area.

In Walsall, Goscote Lane Corridor - the town's biggest regeneration scheme - has already seen more than 440 homes built with planners granting permission to WHG for a further 407 houses to be constructed.

A £9.3 million development for 56 houses and 24 apartments on Innovation Way in Beechdale was completed in 2017.

Dr Handy said there was scope for more residential development in Walsall town centre, Willenhall and Darlaston which could provide a major boost to the economy.

Dr Chris Handy
Dr Chris Handy
 

He said: "The Goscote Lane development has transformed the place. It was a no-go before but this is the sort of thing we are trying to create.

"The development at Innovation Way is striking and has transformed the urban form in the area.

"There is also scope to bringing an increase in residential development in Walsall town centre while there is huge potential to create 1,000 homes in Willenhall town centre, given the legacy architecture that exists that makes it a great place to live."

"There is opportunity and land here. If we can get this right, it could have a major impact on Walsall using the Garden City approach. We have huge interest from developers.

"It creates new opportunities and the potential economic activity of these schemes is huge if the money circulates locally."