Langley SUE & Peddimore.
The Consultative Group met on Thursday 08 February to hear an update from the B’ham CC Planning Officers on the Supporting Planning Documents (SPD). I attended to represent the WRA; Jeff Gilbert was also present plus our Ward and Town Councillors. There were no representatives from Project Fields, Minworth or the local churches.
The SPD’s have been further delayed and are most unlikely to be issued for public consultation (6 week period) before the Local Elections in May. We were given an assurance that sufficient time will be available for the public consultation to be completed after the Local Elections and be acted upon before adoption by B’ham CC Cabinet Members (not the whole Council!) and before any Planning Applications are considered.
The updates we were given sought to demonstrate that our advices and concerns raised at meetings held last summer had been addressed. Regrettably, one of our major concerns (Transportation) was not discussed in detail because Transport for the Midlands (TfM) could not attend. This is likely to be the most contentious issue and we were promised a follow-up meeting with TfM before the public consultation starts. Matters discussed on Thursday comprised housing, transport, access, Sprint, infrastructure, sustainability, education, health provision, open spaces/sports, shops and community facilities. Progress has been made on these issues since last summer and further details will be issued by B’ham CC in the near future. The WRA will then liaise with members and hold an Open Meeting(s) to discuss the implications. We are promised that the public consultation will include “drop-in” sessions attended by Council Officers and Councillors to be held during the daytime and at evenings to maximise on residents’ participation.
Weaver Avenue road improvements.
One of the Planning Conditions “imposed” on the Developers/Taylor Wimpey’s housing scheme was that the junction of Weaver Avenue onto Thimble End Road would be widened to allow “right turning” vehicles to wait without impeding “left turning” vehicles. The current constraints have created substantial delays and disruption during peak traffic hours.
Those junction works should have been completed before first occupation of the new houses – over 18 months ago. The WRA, supported by our Ward Councillor, have voiced concern and requested action for over 12 months, but still no start has been made. Our enquiries indicate that the delays arise because:-
1) Whilst the design of the junction widening was approved in June 2016, the whole process was then delayed whilst B’ham CC agreed with Taylor Wimpey (TW) on a satisfactory means of piping a short length of the shallow ditch alongside Signal Hayes Road!! – eventually agreed in principle during June 2017. At a meeting with B’ham CC in July 2017, we were assured that the documentation would be completed for a start on site in August/September (2017!!) – clearly not achieved.
2) We are now told that design issues have needed to be re-visited before the construction documentation can be finalised. We then have to wait until legal agreements, insurances, health & safety protocols, etc. are in place; TW then need to book road space to carry out the works. It seems unlikely that any works will start before April (which April?).
3) We will continue to pursue B’ham CC for the earliest possible start date and we have been promised advanced notice, including details of the traffic management necessary to keep traffic moving. We will keep you updated but, clearly, B’ham CC’s performance has been unacceptable – if TW have held up these procedures, why have no enforcement notices been issued? Doubtless TW are content to continue building the houses and exacerbating the traffic problems.
David Cooke (Chairman of WRA).
The following items were mentioned in the Birmingham Post and are provided for your information
1) Up to 32 acres of “unwanted” or “unused” Birmingham parkland, playing fields or public open space could be sacrificed to make way for much-needed new housing. Council officials are busy drawing up a list of sites for redevelopment and are asking councillors and communities to suggest suitable patches of land. Once confirmed, the sites will be used to build council houses. But the city council has said it will publish its list of proposed sites in March and is refusing to reveal which patches of field or scrubland are under consideration despite demands from councillors.
2) A cash-strapped police force is planning to sell off its key Sutton Coldfield site to raise money to plug a funding gap (further details in last week’s Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer).
The WRA has been notified of the following Planning Applications:-
7 Shrubbery Close, Walmley B76 1WE
Erection of single storey forward extension
1 Monkspath, Walmley, B76 2RX
Erection of new fence to side boundary
Fair View Farm Coach House, Bulls Lane B76 9QW
Retrospective application for 1st floor extension and erection of single storey side extension
38 Hilary Drive, Walmley B76 2SW
Erection of single storey forward, side and rear extensions
5 Moat Croft, Walmley B76 1GD
Erection of Conservatory to rear
214 Birmingham Rd, Sutton Coldfield B72 1DD
Erection of single storey rear extension
Full application details are available on the Birmingham Planning Portal. A copy of each Planning Notice and Site Plan will be posted on the Walmley Community Hall notice board.
We have received a Police Alert regarding another telephone scam. Several residents are receiving threatening and intimidating phone calls from unknown persons telling them to purchase large quantities of iTune vouchers. The caller then gets the resident to pass over the access codes for the vouchers, which the scammer then cashes-in. Residents should hang up on the initial call and contact the police on 101.
Don’t leave anything metal on your front drive!! I watched “a man in a white van” cheekily take two old rotary clothes driers from my front drive earlier this week. They were not easily visible to passers-by because my car was parked in front of them – but nothing stops these resourceful “collectors”. I had left them in front of my garage doors to take them to the recycling centre later that day – too late!! Walking around our estate, I see several children’s bikes simply left on driveways – more so now that most are on holiday. My message – secure it or lose it!!
We are supporting a “Sutton in Bloom” event to be held outside Jeff’s shop in the village from 2.00pm on Friday, 25 August. Alan Gardner (our local celebrity gardener) and others will be there to discuss the Town’s entry for next year. This is our best chance to influence what is to be provided from the Town Council’s funds – so we need a good attendance.
At the Newhall Ward meeting on 5th September - The Signal Hayes Development was discussed and got rather heated (mainly because representatives of the YMCA and Developers were present). Councillors explained the background to the current Deed of Variation – basically, the YMCA and the Developers are in a legal battle which, until resolved, would mean that Taylor Wimpey could not complete their house building scheme, the YMCA were unable to progress their scheme, the site would remain derelict and uncertainty of future provision would continue. It seems that the YMCA are expecting the Developers to build the YMCA Centre regardless of costs. The original (2010) Section 106 Agreement required the Developers to make a financial contribution of £3.3 million plus gift the land for £1 but the YMCA now require circa £5 million. Clive Yates (YMCA) accused the Developers of reneging on the agreed deal – but the YMCA cost plan provided by their Consultants at Outline Planning stage (2009) quoted an initial build cost of £2.44 million and the Deed of Variation includes the sum of £3.5 million being available for “a community facility” – so I am not clear why the dispute has occurred. A representative of the Developers replied that the YMCA’s claim was excessive and unaffordable and that the YMCA had been aware of this situation since 2015 – he also mentioned that opposing the Village Green application had cost them about £1 million. To avoid this impasse, B’hamCC seek to transfer the benefit of the site ownership and the £3.5 million to themselves so that house building can be completed and a “community facility” can be provided with certainty (albeit not the original YMCA scheme). The first stage is to obtain approval for the Deed of Variation – residents should make their views known to either the Planning Dept. (email@example.com.
I took the opportunity to update residents on the implementation of Planning Conditions imposed upon Taylor Wimpey (TW) but not yet carried out. Basically, the delay is due to B’ham CC Transportation Dept and TW taking over 12 months to agree an acceptable means of crossing the small ditch which runs alongside Signal Hayes Road!! -- all other off-site highway works were agreed in early 2016. TW now advise that the junction widening at Thimble End Road/Weaver Avenue will be carried out in October (2017!!) – I have asked for a copy of their works programme and proposed traffic management. Clearly, there will be substantial, unavoidable disruption to drivers using Weaver Avenue – I will update as soon as known. We have also asked for:-
1) Double yellow lines from the channel line of Thimble End Road and at least to the first (green) telecom cabinet on Weaver Avenue – to prevent children running out of Thimble End Park between parked cars and to prevent on-street parking which would invalidate the junction improvements,
2) A short (say 2-3m) run of pedestrian barrier at back of kerb at the existing entrance to Thimble End Park – to stop children running onto the road,
3) A sign advising visitors to the Park that off-street parking is available on Horsfall Drive plus a sign on Horsfall Drive noting “Parking for TEPark visitors”.
All of these measures are to improve safety, particularly for children and other visitors to TEPark. B’ham CC are dealing with these “additions”, the cost of which will be more than covered by the “Highway contribution” already charged to the Developers. I will continue to chase for these works to be completed asap.
David Cooke (Chairman).
Sutton United Football Club have applied for permission to install a floodlit synthetic football pitch including fencing, tiered covered stands, changing block, new parking and revised site entrance – to replace existing grass pitch. The site is located between Coleshill Road, B’ham CC’s Plant Nursery, railway lines and allotment gardens; access is off Coleshill Road. Application Notice plus Site Plan has been posted on the Walmley Community Centre noticeboard (next to library). Closing date for comments is 27 September 2017.
If you have any Police issues or concerns that you wish to discuss with the Newhall Neighbourhood Policing Team the below dates are available for you to attend
Meetings are held at St Johns Church, Walmley Rd, Walmley B76 1QN
Saturday 2nd September 2017 10.30 to 12.30
Saturday 7th October 2017 10.30 to 12.30
Saturday 4th November 2017 10.30 to 12.30
Saturday 9th December 2017 10.30 to 12.30
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