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WEC Local Nature Reserve gets official green light

Planning permission has been granted to turn more than 90% of the former Wolverhampton Environment Centre (Central Plant Nursery) land into a Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

The official decision by City of Wolverhampton Council planners is specific to the change of use to public open space and nature reserve.

Contrary to a media report earlier in the week, it does not relate to the housing element of the project, which will not be decided until next year.

The former Wolverhampton Environment Centre, off Westacre Crescent, currently hosts 4 large derelict glass houses, ancillary buildings and a bungalow, which are not viable to bring back into use. 

The 90% of the site that surrounds this built up area will now be set aside for wildlife and will be opened up to the public as part of the adjoining Smestow Valley LNR.

Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: "The vast majority of the site will now be turned into a first class managed public open space and nature reserve for residents and the wider public to enjoy in line with the Tettenhall Neighbourhood Plan.

"Making this land a local nature reserve indefinitely will doubly protect it against being built on by developers and preserve it for future generations to enjoy."

The allocation of funding from the council and ERDF Blue Network Grant of £285,000 will initially open up and immediately improve the area being reassigned to the Local Nature Reserve and public open space, with the proposal to seek additional funding from the council to improve the LNR further at a later date.

The work proposed to improve this extension of the LNR will include woodland and pond management and meadow creation, improved car parking for walkers, self managed allotments with their own parking allocation, new paths throughout to connect it to the wider Smestow Valley LNR, and new entrances from the disused railway line pathway into the reserve.

  • released: Tuesday 21 November, 2017