A STOURBRIDGE trust which aims to promote alternative, more eco-friendly development has offered the first glimpse of its innovative plan to build new affordable flats on the edge of the town.

The Stourbridge Community Development Trust has worked up plans to build a block of 11 affordable apartments with solar panels and ground source heat pumps in Enville Street in a scheme called the Stourbridge PowerHaus Project in partnership with Accord Housing Association.

The team behind the scheme say they want to show how housing can lead the fight against climate change while providing a boost to the town's economy - and they are keen to promote car free living by creating easy access to cycleways and an electric car sharing hub.

Eddy Morton, a director of the Trust, said: "It's quite exciting. The site will provide a space for creatives to live and succeed, it will be developed using modern construction methods.

"It will demonstrate how it is possible to have homes starting to contribute power to the grid, helping to reduce fuel poverty and putting additional income into the local economy whilst reducing the carbon footprint.

"It will create a community based asset which can then be used as a community anchor to seed additional projects."

Having secured a grant for £122,000 from the Community Housing Fund, the Trust has developed an outline proposal to develop the derelict old Mayfield House site, owned by Dudley Council and located next to Alexandra House, to create affordable rentable homes and workshop space for those working in creative and enterprising fields.

The project has come about as a result of continuing work by the Trust which was initially set up last year to highlight an alternative, more socially inclusive vision for the redevelopment of the old Longlands School site and other Stourbridge sites.

A planning application is expected to be submitted to the the council's planning department before Christmas and if successful the scheme, which is expected to cost around £1.2million, will be funded by ethical lenders.

The project will be discussed further - along with the Trust's wider ideas for sustainable and affordable development - at a meeting at Stourbridge Town Hall on Wednesday October 30, starting at 7.30pm.

The meeting has been called amid fears of development of the green belt around Stourbridge and Halesowen and members of the public will be asked for their views on the possible effects on the environment, school places, traffic and health.

Eddy said: "This is a big conversation and we hope people will come along and take part as well as providing feedback after the event online."

He added: "We will also discuss how we can address a lack of democracy and accountability in relation to development of our community by looking at developmental competition which exists in many other areas of the world and how the community can make their voice heard."

An artist's impression of the proposed Stourbridge PowerHaus Project by InDesign - Accord Housing Association's architecture team