Striking designs show plans to revamp Tipton’s disused historic canalside area
Stunning images show how a major apartment development will transform a historic part of the Tipton Canal which is currently in poor condition. Tyler Grange PRS Ltd wants to create 50 waterway-side apartments on land off Factory Road and breathe new life into the area.
Plans submitted to Sandwell Council include the conversion of the Grade II listed The Boat Gauging House – which dates back to 1873 – and the demolition of two other 1960s buildings to make way for development. Officers are recommending that members of the authority’s planning committee grant conditional clearance when they meet on Wednesday, March 9.
But the plans have met with some opposition from residents who worry about the negative impact on the area, loss of features in the historic building, and issues of overhang and loss of privacy. Officers said the area had been vacant for several years and the boat gauge house had fallen into disrepair due to lack of use.
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Planning officers Bharya Design and Build Consultancy said: “The site has always been used for industrial and storage purposes, as well as moorings in the adjacent canal. It is currently occupied by three buildings: a Grade II listed building – The Boat Gauging House, dating back to 1873; a two-story 1960s brick building; a 1960s one-story brick building housing a PVC window and door manufacturer, recently damaged by fire.
“The three buildings are in poor condition and the access courtyard is unsightly and potentially contaminated. It is proposed that the Grade II listed building be restored and converted into four residential units, while the other two industrial buildings are to be demolished, as they have little or no architectural or archaeological value.
“There is a strong argument that the removal of these two ‘modern’ buildings would benefit the appearance and character of the area. Additionally, the two-storey building, immediately to the west of the listed building, is partly built over the entrance access, which allowed narrowboats to access the tonnage house.
“This building also obstructs views of the historic building from the canal. Therefore, by demolishing this building, this area can be opened up, allowing views of the waterway towards the listed building, greatly enhancing the character of the area and respecting the heritage of the canals.
“The unique position of the site, at the junction of the two canals, makes it very suitable for residential development and provides an ideal opportunity for the regeneration of this historic site, adding value to the river environment and benefiting the local community by In order to maximize development potential, while respecting the historic character of the site, it was considered that apartments would be the most appropriate form of development.
They added that The Boat Gauging will be converted into four apartments while two new blocks – housing 36 apartments in one and 10 in the other – will be built on site. There will be a total of 32 two-bedroom apartments, 16 one-bedroom apartments and two studios once the development is complete.
They added: “The proposed new development will positively approach the waterway, providing attractive views of the site. At the same time, the new buildings will overlook the canal and open space, providing natural oversight and maintaining the order.
“The proportion and scale of the proposed buildings have been designed to respect the heritage of the waterway and the existing buildings along the canal, in particular the Grade II listed gauge house.”
A report to Sandwell Council’s Planning Committee said: ‘Regeneration of this site would improve the setting of the canal and conservation area, lead to the creation of much needed new homes in Sandwell, given the current lack of housing, and would also restore the listed building with a long-term use that would ensure its future maintenance.”
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