PROPOSALS for 74 new homes in Dudley town centre have been thrown out after planners slammed the building design.

The scheme, for development of land between 84-90 High Street, was described as bland and prejudicial to Dudley's skyline.

Outline permission to build a block of one and two-bedroom flats, a car park for 42 cars and terraced gardens on a site close to St Thomas’s Church was also rejected due to the damage it would cause in a conservation area.

Dudley's head of planning, Carl Mellor, said: “The applicant has failed to demonstrate the economic, social and environmental gains of the proposed scheme, particularly in the absence of clear and convincing justification for the harm the proposals will have on the significance of the heritage assets and the negative impact this will have on the character and appearance of the Dudley Town Centre Conservation Area. 

“The proposal fails to respond adequately to the local character, distinctiveness, and context of the local area.”

The planned development, opposite Asda, would have seen the demolition of a row of shops, a car repair business and a building which was formerly Preedy’s tobacco warehouse before becoming offices for Hanson’s brewery which was located over the road.

The brewery was demolished in the 1980s, the offices were vacated and the building  became run-down.

The latest proposal was for a two-storey building on the High Street side rising to six storeys on the King Street side.

The applicant’s agent, Anthony Hope from Kingswinford, said in a design statement that a wall which still shows the Preedy’s logo would be retained with parts of the building which are locally listed.

The agent also said the building would be designed to minimise its impact on views of the nearby historic church.

Despite assurances, Mr Mellor concluded: “Outline planning applications within conservation areas are not encouraged as they do not provide the level of detail to demonstrate that the proposed development would appropriate.”