News Archive

St Modwen revise proposals for £100 million Castle Hill scheme

St Modwen Properties PLC has lodged revisions to the planning  application for its £100 million scheme to create  world class visitor attractions within the Castle Hill site at Dudley encompassing Dudley Zoological Gardens and Castle.

Since the announcement in the summer of the revised  proposals, St Modwen together with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, partners and consultees  in the development,  have worked very hard to prepare new proposals which take into account the major changes. The principal changes to the scheme are:

  • Withdrawal of the proposals to develop houses on the site known as Peggy’s Meadow. Instead, a management scheme for the woodlands will be extended across Peggy’s Meadow and will ensure that both are managed to provide an enhanced amenity to the local community. 
  • Housing will remain an important element of the scheme  – some 65 homes instead of 280 -but will be limited to the brown field area on the raised section to the south of Peggy’s Meadow.
  • The ancillary heritage craft and retail, restaurant and supporting uses at the base of Castle Hill will be reduced from 115,000 sq ft to 65,000 sq ft with none of these being located on the elevation to Castle Hill Road.
  • The Garden Centre proposals, which have met with general support, will remain unaltered although the location has moved slightly to adapt to the other changes.
  • The Castle will remain under the management of the Zoo with the entrance to the Zoo and Castle remaining in its present position at the bottom of Castle Hill. This will give the Zoo a much larger area than previously proposed and avoid a number of measures introduced to separate the two facilities such as the funicular lift.
  • The siege craft exhibition will be accommodated within the existing structures in the Castle avoiding the need for any building within the Castle itself. 
  • The embankment to the rear of the Black Country Living Museum will not now    be altered at all.  The proposed miniature railway will run on top of the existing embankment and will offer access to Dudley Canal Trust and the Black Country Living Museum.
  • Access onto the A4123 will now be deleted with all access being off the Tipton Road.

Derek West, of St Modwen Properties, said: “A lot of work has been involved in the revision but we now feel that our proposals are the ones which will allow Castle Hill  to be revitalised as a major attraction for the West Midlands.

“The revisions will remove all the major objections to the scheme and allow us to go forward with a rapid programme. It is hoped that the planning application will be approved by the local authority in March or April next year and enable work to commence in the summer 2005.”

For further information contact Derek West of St Modwen on 0121-456-2800.

Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121-236-7771).