Walsall Council tells residents it aims to see Phoenix 10 rise again

WALSALL Council has revealed more details about its plans to salvage the Phoenix 10 reclamation project, which involves the regeneration of the former IMI copper works site in Darlaston.

Phoenix 10 is the key site in the Darlaston part of the Black Country Enterprise Zone and its multi-million pound redevelopment has the potential to create hundreds of jobs.

A large proportion of the site is in the ownership of the Homes Communities Agency, with adjoining land owned by Walsall Council.

Earlier this year plans to create thousands of jobs by regenerating the 37-acre site lay in ruins after a deal to sell it fell through.

An £18m deal, between the council, the Homes and Communities Agency – which took over ownership of the former copper works site following the closure of  regional development agency Advantage West Midlands – and developer Parkhill Reclamation and Regeneration would have seen the site decontaminated, restored and turned into a warehouse and distribution hub.

But due to a breakdown in negotiations with Parkhill following public funding cuts the deal was cancelled.

However, the council said it wanted to step in and salvage the project.

The local authority is proposing to take ownership of the whole site to progress the reclamation scheme. The land is currently contaminated as a result of previous uses.

It is anticipated a planning application for the reclamation of the site will be submitted in late 2014.

The council held a public meeting in the Pleck and Alumwell areas where it outlined to residents how it intended taking the scheme forward.

As part of this the council wants to establish a community engagement group to keep residents informed of the project’s development.

Cllr Adrian Andrew, regeneration and transport leader at the council said: “It’s essential local people are involved in this, one of the most important projects in The Black Country to ensure it succeeds not only in cleaning up the site but making sure that as many jobs are created as possible.

“Phoenix 10 site is a major opportunity, not only within the Enterprise Zone, but within The Black Country and has the potential to create hundreds jobs for the region.

“It’s important that local people hear this straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak, instead of rumour or hearsay.”