Fears Rowley Regis plan could cause increase in road accidents

Worried residents fear a Rowley Regis road crash hot spot could get worse if plans to build social housing are given the go-ahead.

Sandwell Council has put forward a proposal to build seven new houses, two bungalows and a six apartment block on land at the junction of Hawes Lane and Stanford Drive.

But worried people living nearby told members of the authority’s planning committee the spot had seen a number of crashes over the years, including a fatality, and said the scheme would get worse with more traffic on the road.

Natalie Burrows told the committee the junction was substandard and problems would only be exacerbated if the plan was approved.

Highways officers had no objections to the scheme, adding the extra traffic generated by the new homes would not have a substantial impact.

But Mrs Burrows said: “Recent car accidents have caused damage to stationary cars and a lamppost. I wish I could say this type of driving was limited to a one off however it is not.

“I ask committee members to seriously consider the risks faced by current residents by allowing this to continue.

Resident Robert Jennings listed a number of incidents over the last 10 years and added: “These are just a few of many incidents that have occurred at the junction and does not count the numerous near misses.”

Committee member Laured Kalari, who represents Rowley ward, said he drives past there everyday and described the situation as “dire”.

He said: “If we keep ignoring it, I promise you these near misses will be guaranteed hits.

“As a committee we have to take into consideration are we going to preventative or are we going to allow the situation to fester and make it even worse.”

A number of committee members said there was an urgent need for social housing, adding officers were happy with the proposal.

The decision was deferred by the committee.

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