THE character of a row of historic terraced homes in Oldswinford looks to have been saved for future generations after the council opted to remove certain permitted development rights following a bid by one of the residents to knock down the front wall to create a parking space.

The owners of one of the Victorian properties, which have remained unchanged for more than 140 years, had applied for planning permission to drop the kerb at the front to allow access for a vehicle but the plan was refused in September on safety grounds.

An appeal was subsequently launched but it too was dismissed in January with the Planning Inspector stating the scheme would have a 'harmful effect on highway and pedestrian safety'.

Part of the plan, however, which involved removing the existing brick wall to the front of the property, did not require planning consent as it fell within permitted development rights - so the council has now taken action to ensure any changes to the frontages of the distinctive homes, originally known as Mount Terrace, would have to be approved by planners.

Councillor Ian Kettle, Dudley's cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “This particular area of Hagley Road features a terrace of beautiful Victorian homes.

"The frontages of these properties retain a lot of their original characteristics from when they were first built.

“That includes the distinctive brick boundary walls around the front gardens.

“As a council we’re very proud of our past, and the idea behind this is to protect the character and the appearance of the frontage of this row of historic buildings for future generations.

“Residents will still of course be able to apply for full planning permission, and this will be considered on its merits.”