DUDLEY planners have approved proposals for a brand new care home for the elderly which aims to transform a run-down site close to Stourbridge town.

Entrepreneur Jim Driscoll MBE, creator of children’s TV show The Shoe People, had been working on plans to see the site of his former Storm Group studios into a state-of-the-art residential care facility for the last few years.

The 1.5-acre gateway site, owned by Mr Driscoll, was previously home to Stourbridge Labour Club and the YWCA but has been derelict for the last six or seven years.

Dudley Council's planners, however, have now given the green light to an ambitious scheme, submitted by luxury care home developers The Cinnamon Care Collection, which will see a three to four-storey multi-million pound 80-bed care complex built on the site.

Mr Driscoll said he was keen for the site to be given over to the care industry as he believes such a facility is "desperately needed" in the town.

He said it was "fantastic news" that the scheme had been approved - adding: "I'm delighted. It's taken a while to get here. It's fantastic for the area. It will create jobs, it's desperately needed and it will tidy up that whole area."

Stourbridge councillor Nic Barlow, Dudley's cabinet member for adult social care, said the development would enable elderly people to “live their lives as independently as possible" and "fill a much-needed gap in existing care facilities" in the borough.

Planners gave approval for the scheme on March 15 but a raft of conditions must be adhered to before development can get underway - one of which states work must not start until a scheme for protecting residents at the facility from traffic noise on Hagley Road and music from the neighbouring Arena nightclub has been submitted and approved by local planners.