A BID to demolish a garage and build homes in Dudley town centre has been refused despite 25 letters of support.

The application for outline planning permission to build three flats on the site of K Motor Services, Phoenix Passage, has been turned down.

The land is opposite the former Cavendish House site.

Designs submitted showed two two-bedroom flats and one one-bedroom flat.

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Dudley Council planners have refused the application stating that "there are potentially insurmountable technical issues relating to coal mining that have not been satisfactorily resolved."

Twenty five letters of support were sent to the council in support of the application, stating that the flats would improve the area and support regeneration in the town centre.

One letter stated: "The plan to build flats would drive footfall to our town and regeneration of Dudley which is well underway to prosper."

Another said the "Porter street area has been neglected for a long time and I think this is now the right time to improve this area.

"Building residential properties will help the community to fulfil its residential needs."

But a report by council planners states that the site is within a 'Development High Risk Area' and there are coal mining and other hazards.

It states: "Insufficient information has been submitted to make an informed decision in this regard."

The report goes on: "Whilst the proposed development is acceptable in principle, and would be acceptable on amenity and highway safety grounds, the applicant has failed to demonstrate through the submission of a Coal Mining Risk Assessment and due to the sites location within a high risk area, that the proposed development of the site would not have an impact on public safety."

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