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New homes in Dudley set to go ahead on former public swimming baths

Published: Friday 17 May 2024

Work has started on the construction of dozens of energy efficient new homes on land that was once home to Dudley’s public swimming baths. 

H2B Homes is helping to support the surrounding economy by using local construction companies and supply chains to build the new homes on brownfield land in Blowers Green Road following an £800,000 investment by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). 

A total of 60 homes are being built with 20% classed as affordable under the WMCA’s own definition which is linked to real world local incomes rather than surrounding property prices. 

The £15 million development comes after the WMCA investment was used to clear the site and make it ready for redevelopment. 

The scheme is the latest to be funded by the WMCA’s Housing Development Programme, which has unlocked dozens of former industrial sites across the region for new homes and modern commercial premises.

Richard Parker, Mayor of the West Midlands, and Chair of the WMCA, visited the site to see work get underway.

We need to fix the housing crisis by building more good quality homes that are safe, warm and genuinely affordable,” he said.

“There will be many people in Dudley and across the rest of the region who are desperate to rent or buy a good quality property so we have to increase the rate at which we build such homes.

“I’m especially pleased to see how these new properties at Blowers Green include the use of some Advanced Manufacturing in Construction (AMC) techniques. We are encouraging more developers to use this because it means homes can be built faster and to higher energy efficiency standards.

“Schemes like Blowers Green breathe new life into derelict sites and provide much needed new homes for local people but in the longer term we need to vastly increase the size of our social housing sector which is woefully insufficient at present and driving many people into expensive but poor quality privately rented accommodation."

From L-R: Corey Byrne, Production Director Blyth Civils; Simon Blower, Director H2B Homes Ltd; Richard Parker, Mayor of the West Midlands; Robbie Hubball, Group Managing Director, Blyth Group & H2B Homes Ltd; Cllr Patrick Harley; Ritchie Hubball, Director Blyth Group & H2B Homes Ltd.

From L-R: Corey Byrne, Production Director Blyth Civils; Simon Blower, Director H2B Homes Ltd; Richard Parker, Mayor of the West Midlands; Robbie Hubball, Group Managing Director, Blyth Group & H2B Homes Ltd; Cllr Patrick Harley; Ritchie Hubball, Director Blyth Group & H2B Homes Ltd.

The site of the new housing scheme is the former location for the town’s public baths which were opened in 1926 by the then Mayor of Dudley, Councillor F.J Ball. The baths cost £21,550 – about £1,650,772.25 in today’s money – and were 75 feet long by 35 feet wide with a water purification system.

The baths closed in the 1960s and the site was then occupied by council buildings which have since been demolished.  

The development at Blowers Green Road has been designed to achieve an EPC A rating. This is the highest EPC rating for the energy efficiency of a building and is prepared by an energy assessor to show the estimated energy costs for lighting, heating, and hot water. Buildings are given a rating between A (very efficient) - G (inefficient).

The scheme is thought to be the first of its kind in the West Midlands to achieve this rating by using wastewater heat recovery systems and increased insulation.

Robbie Hubball, H2B Group Managing Director, said: “H2B are delighted to bring this challenging brownfield site (Blowers Green Road) forward in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority.

“The site will be delivered using our group construction businesses Blyth Group and Blyth Civils utilising local supply chain and employment to promote the local economy.

“In addition, we are pleased to announce that this scheme is forecast to be 100% EPC A rated which given current market conditions, should help support those buyers with affordability calculations whilst delivering much needed stock for the area.”

A computer generated image of what the new Oxley health & wellbeing facility (pictured right) and homes (pictured left) could look like.

A computer generated image of what the new Oxley health & wellbeing facility (pictured right) and homes (pictured left) could look like.

Cllr Patrick Harley, Leader of Dudley Council, said: “We’ve always believed in delivering quality housing for our residents. While we try and meet this need from our own stock, provision of new housing which is affordable to local residents is something we will continue to work with local developers to provide in Dudley.

“The WMCA funding which cleared the site helped to get this project rolling and we look forward to seeing new homes for Dudley families on the site.”

The WMCA recently launched its ‘Homes for the Future Strategy’ to encourage the construction of more energy efficient homes while creating new business, investment, and job opportunities for the region’s green technology industries.  

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