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Dudley's Deadly Site: Can An £82M Plan Really Revive It?


Everyone wants Dudley’s 10-acre Porters Field site developed. Successive Labour and Conservative council leaders have praised the retail and leisure scheme’s transformation potential. But five years — and one property boom — later, the site is still not cleared and no planning application for rebuilding has been submitted, let alone approved.

Could May 2018 be the moment when things finally leap forward?

A planning application from developer Avenbury will see Cavendish House, Castle Hill, demolished and replaced by an £82M new retail and leisure scheme, Dudley Council said.

The Portersfield development (it has become one word, instead of two) comes after Avenbury’s £800K purchase of the 85K SF Cavendish House in 2015. It first applied for permission to demolish the block in 2016. However, proposals for Portersfield were first floated in 2013, and involved several proposals from different landlords and developers.

Between 2013 and 2018 the capital value of the scheme has risen from £50M to £82M.

If the plan is approved and work begins, it will be the largest development in Dudley in decades.

Approval could mean demolition of Cavendish House this autumn, but Dudley's deadly site could have longer to wait for new building to occur. A planning application for the wider development has not yet been submitted by the developer.

When approached by Bisnow Dudley Council could not say what size they expected the development to be.