Cookley Works is one of four brownfield sites unlocked through a strategic partnership between the WMCA and us, which is driving the region’s ‘brownfield first’ policy.
This is helping to regenerate acres of derelict industrial land for affordable new homes, supporting the region to meet its housing needs.
The Mayor, who is also chair of the WMCA, visited the development in Brierley Hill, Dudley on Friday 27 January following the completion of remediation work ahead of construction starting on the new housing plots. He was accompanied by our regional managing director Stuart Penn, as well as Marion Duffy from Platform Housing Group who will manage the properties, and Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council.
When complete, Cookley Works will become a thriving community offering a mix of affordable rent and low-cost home ownership. To date, the Lovell and WMCA partnership has delivered 700 new homes across the four sites – Saints Quarter, The Junction, Cookley Works and Lockside. More than 45% of these are classed as affordable, under the WMCA’s own regional definition, which is linked to real world local wages rather property prices.
Stuart Penn said: “Having begun work to prepare the site for building, it was a great opportunity to welcome Andy Street and show him around this area where this fantastic project will come to fruition. Partnerships such as the one between Lovell and WMCA are vital to help meeting the housing demand for communities and aligns with our mission to create a lasting legacy.”
The scheme is part of a multi-million-pound investment deal agreed between us and WMCA that will see the delivery of 4,000 new homes over eight years and help the region meet its target of building 215,000 homes by 2031.
The WMCA has invested £1million into the Cookley Works scheme that will feature 71 new homes.
Stuart added: “Not only does this provide much-needed affordable housing, but it also brings job opportunities and an economic boost that will help rejuvenate the local area. The partnership of public and private sector skills along with investment has been hugely successful in utilising brownfield sites, which would otherwise remain disused, while easing the pressure on green belt land. This includes the Saints Quarter development in Wolverhampton, Lockside in Walsall, and The Junction in Oldbury, where work is ongoing to create 234 new, energy-efficient homes.”
Located midway between Dudley and Stourbridge town centres, Cookley Works is being built on land that had remained derelict for more than a decade. The last business on the site closed in 2007, ending more than 150 years of steel industry for the area.
The Mayor said: “Cookley Works is another great example of the commitment of the WMCA, alongside partners Dudley Council, Lovell and Platform Housing Group to continue delivering good quality, affordable homes for our communities.
“Despite the challenges of the last couple of years, we’ve continued to make significant investments into the regeneration of brownfield land, unlocking previously difficult to develop sites for new homes, helping to protect our precious green belt in the process.
“This is also helping to drive our economic recovery by creating vital new jobs and apprenticeships and I look forward to seeing local people move into these new homes and create a thriving, attractive new community.”
An ideal location for residential development, the site is close to the Merry Hill shopping centre where there are ample amenities, as well as leisure activities such as the Black Country Living Museum. The area is also well connected with transport options to the M5 and nearby train stations offering rail links north and south.
Marion Duffy, chief operations officer at Platform Housing Group, said: “We are really pleased to deliver much needed affordable housing for the community. It’s especially pleasing that this site uses remediated land as a solution, protecting vital green space in the area. I’d like to thank our partners, notably Lovell and the WMCA for their work towards bringing this project to fruition.”