CAMPAINGERS in Brierley Hill have celebrated a “victory for common sense” as a controversial plan to redesign the town’s Moor Centre was turned down.

Pegasus Group had submitted a plan to Dudley's planners on behalf of Sheet Anchor Ltd to make external alterations to the shopping centre to maximise viability and safeguard its future.

The plan included new entrance doors to allow retail units to be sub-divided, part demolition of one unit to allow vehicle access from the High Street and part conversion of a unit to create new public toilets, plus new surface parking, landscaping, cycle parking and highway works.

Shoppers and traders, however, feared the proposal would prove “damaging” for the town and would risk pedestrian safety.

Their strong opposition, however, was heard by Dudley Council planning committee members who rejected the proposal on Wednesday June 22.

Brierley Hill councillor Adam Davies, who spoke against the scheme at the planning meeting, said afterwards: “This is a victory for common sense.

“For so many reasons, not least the appalling risks for pedestrian safety, inevitable traffic chaos it would cause and an undermining of the conservation area, this damaging plan made no sense at all for our town.

“Together with the Community Forum, local businesses such as Alan Warwick Butchers, Iceland Foods, and members of the public, we have stood up for our town and made sure common sense has won the day.”

On behalf of Brierley Hill Community Forum, Dr Clive Skidmore thanked the planning committee for refusing what he described as an “insensitive” application.

Tim Sunter, community forum chairman, also thanked councillors, stakeholders and the community for uniting to oppose the plan which he said “would have had very serious knock-on consequences for the town”.

He added: “It really does show that people do care and want to have their voice heard. Together we can make a difference."