HALESOWEN firm Sandvik is seeking to secure its future in the town with plans to sell off part of its site for housing and build a new landmark UK headquarters.

The Swedish engineering company has been based on Manor Way since 1958 but with around 125 employees and no longer with any manufacturing or warehouse requirement bosses say the sprawling site is too large for its current operation.

After failing to find an alternative home in the borough bosses came up with proposals to sell off part of the existing site to a developer for around 80 homes - while constructing a new smaller UK head office on the remainder.

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The proposal - which would see the existing buildings flattened - is still in its planning stages - an application has not yet been submitted to Dudley Council.

If plans get the nod it is hoped the new office building would be completed by 2021 - with the residential development coming after.

Sandvik's corporate communications manager Kim Olander said the move would secure the firm's future in Halesowen as well as offering new homes on the brownfield site.

He said: "During the 60s there were a number of additions on the site including new office and warehouse space.

"We no longer have any manufacturing or warehouse requirement and found ourselves in a building which is far too big for us.

"We wanted to find a viable solution to stay in the borough and in Halesowen - which is a purpose-built future-proofed building.

"We are very pleased we're looking to make a significant investment in retaining our presence in Halesowen."

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Halesowen South councillor David Vickers welcomed plans.

He said: "Obviously the site is too big for what they need and this plan provides housing on a brownfield site and means the firm will continue to have its headquarters for the whole of the country in Halesowen.

"The firm is a big part of what we do in Halesowen town centre - whether it be Halesowen In Bloom - Sandvik are always there with us."

Plans incorporate a wildlife corridor between the office and residential developments with a shared amenity space and link the Site of Local importance for nature conservation (SLINC) area to Manor Way.

The firm will submit a detailed planning application for its HQ, but only an outline planning application for the residential development of 80 homes made up of apartment blocks and houses. Plans are subject to change as any developer buying the land is likely to come up with its own scheme.

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Around 200 people attended an open event showcasing proposals in July.

Mr Olander said: "We were humbled by the respect people had for us as a community neighbour."

He added that "some very valid points were raised by some immediate neighbours that we have looked to incorporate into the application."

Mr Olander said concerns included what type of properties would be next to the site's Western boundary - he said the firm couldn't guarantee the type of properties but said it had looked at the treatment of the site's border.

The existing access and exit points would be improved.

The new building would have 105 desks and would boast solar panels, rainwater harvesting and a green roof. There would be parking for employees, a cycle store and showers, open plan office space, a showroom/demonstration hall allowing events to showcase technology, outdoor seating and a canteen. Plans do not involve any job losses.

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The firm manufactures metal-cutting tools and tools for the mining and construction industries as well as stainless steels and alloys. It has 42,000 employees and its HQ is in Stockholm.