Nimby Councils could lose planning Powers as new Balsall Town plans loom

The spectre of a new town-sized development “around Balsall Common” looms as Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council considers the content of the Greater Birmingham Strategic Housing survey final report.

The report highlights the settlement as one of four potential locations for major housing development to tackle the national housing crisis and now also sits against the backdrop of National Government’s aggressive new plans to solve the housing crisis.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid has spoken belligerently about local Planning Authorities failing to keep up with demand:

“At the moment there is nothing in the system that checks to see they are actually delivering. There’s no comeback or sanction and that is going to change.”

Javid told The Guardian newspaper:

“We have a housing crisis in this country. We need a housing revolution. The new rules will no longer allow ‘nimby’ councils that don’t really want to build the homes that their local community needs to fudge the numbers.”

Heat Map Showing New Town Development ‘Around Balsall Common’

Greater Birmingham Strategic Housing survey final report

Solihull Council is currently considering a report which highlights Balsall Common as one of four favoured locations for major development in the Greater Birmingham region.  It states:

“This area is free from nationally significant constraints.”

It’s a description which suggests there is a strong chance of major development.  With National Government’s aggressive new stance on housing policy this will undoubtedly pile pressure on Solihull Council in terms of accommodating the proposals.

Tell Us What You Think

Hop over to the Balsall Common Facebook page and let us know your thoughts:

 

Footnotes

In a report which mentions Balsall Common more than 20 times, here are a selection of notes from the Greater Birmingham Strategic Growth Study:

References to Balsall Common:
p34 Areas of Search
p36 Balsall Common recommended for further research
p37 Map showing settlement proposal ‘Around Balsall Common’
p179-180 Section on settlement patterns refers to Balsall Common as does the section on Green Belt Role
p194 Development gap between Birmingham and Coventry is referenced in terms of being narrowed should development occur in Balsall Common: “The potential scale and orientation of development in this location would need careful consideration given the route of the West Coast Mainline and HS2 which, from Balsall Common, will run broadly parallel to the A452.”
“This area is free from nationally significant constraints. There are small portions of Ancient Woodland and areas covered by Flood Zone 3 further afield however it is considered these could be mitigated, given the strategic nature of a new settlement. The presence of the railway corridor running north east-south west from the conurbation and a railway station at Balsall Common supports the potential for residential as well as employment development around this area.”
p202: Green Belt reference relating to Balsall Common
p206: Balsall Common referenced under Areas of Search
p210: Balsall Common referenced under areas capable of meeting unmet [housing] needs
p211: Balsall Common referenced as one of 5 locations capable of meeting a significant proportion of unmet housing needs
p213: Balsall Common referenced as one of 10 Areas of Search for New Settlements/Towns.  Balsall Common referred to as favourable in terms of economic/transport-related factors.
p220-221: Balsall Common referenced under Public Transport – Results
p227: Balsall Common referenced under Areas of Search- Public Utilities
p236: Balsall Common referenced in relation to housing prices
p249: Balsall Common referenced under section on New Settlements

 

Development proposals threaten Berkswell Windmill’s future

Campaigners against proposals to develop land opposite Berkswell Windmill say it could threaten its’ future as a working mill:

“Dense building in the vicinity of the Mill will interfere with the wind flow and the sails will not turn.” explained Jeanette on behalf of campaigners.

“Further, the Mill is a local, regional and national heritage asset and should not be surrounded by dense housing. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) would be contravened as such building would cause harm to a heritage asset.”

Solihull Council’s Consultation on development on Brownfield Sites concludes on Wednesday 14th February 2018 and campaigners are hopeful that residents will air their views.

In an appeal to local residents a spokesperson for the campaign says:

“Please help to save the Berkswell Windmill and stop 230 flats and houses being built in the fields opposite the Mill.”

Campaigners have compiled a list of their suggested answers to specific questions on the survey which they feel could help protect the future of the Mill as follows:

Q1 – No. Object to inclusion of BLR/018
Q2 – Yes. BLR/018 does not comply with the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2017 (Brownfield Land Register) in terms of “Suitability”. Regulation 4 requires that regard be given to “any adverse impact on the local built environment, including in particular on heritage assets”.
The grade 2* Berkswell Windmill, directly opposite Windmill House, has not been considered by SMBC in making this assessment. Development of this PDL site will cause harm to the setting, and indeed operation of this unique designated heritage asset, acknowledged by SMBC officers as “the best tower mill in the West Midlands”. This contravenes NPPF para. 132
Q3 – No
Q4 – No

They say they would be grateful to any residents that would be complete the Council’s Survey by clicking the following link:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BROWNFIELDLANDREGISTER

Follow the Berkswell Windmill campaign online:

https://www.facebook.com/BerkswellWindmill

Quiz Night in aid of Redvictor World Speed Record Attempt

The Railway Inn is all set to play host to a Quiz Night fundraiser for Andy Frost, the designer, builder and driver of Redvictor 3, the road-legal remodelled Vauxhall Victor he’s rebuilding to reclaim the 1/4 mile world record he and his car have held before.  The General Knowledge Quiz Night on Thursday 15th February 2018 is also set to include a Question and Answer session with the man himself, as well as food during the interval:

Redvictor Quiz Night Information

Venue: The Railway Inn, Station Road, Balsall Common, CV7 7EF
Date: Thursday 15 February 2018
Time: 8:00pm
Quiz: General Knowledge, Teams of 4 persons, £5 entry per person
Quiz Master: John Milne
Special Guest: Andy Frost, designer-builder and driver of Redvictor 3

 

 

£22,000 raised and 89 donations made

Balsall Common Lions Club third annual celebration evening highlighted once again the amazing work they do in Balsall Common and further afield.

Over 85% of the money raised by the Lions Club is spent locally, the rest goes to national and international good causes. Members subscription fees pay for all administrative costs.

The 40 local Lions Club members are part of Lions International which has a total of 1.4 million members worldwide, operating in 206 countries. Together they work to combat hunger, sight loss and childhood cancer around the world, as well as organising disaster relief funds wherever they are needed.

Closer to home, many local clubs, societies, venues and organisations benefit from the Lions’ hard work.  The annual bonfire in partnership with the Sports Association and sponsored by local businesses is a huge success. Elves from eight local organisations helped Santa’s sleigh visit Balsall Common, Berkswell, Fen End and Burton Green this  year, raising £7000.

One of the highlights of the evening was the nomination of Lion Derrick Thompkins to the Melvin Jones Fellowship. Derrick is just the 6th member of Balsall Common Lions to receive the honour in the 44 years the club has been running. His name will go up on the wall in Lions International HQ in Chicago. One of the key things Derrick does for the Club is to set off the fireworks each year on Bonfire night. Over 3000 people attended the 2017 event and over the last 30 years it has raised more than £150,000. Derrick’s fireworks expertise has really helped to boost this figure.

Lion President Steve Meakin with Derrick Thompkins and Andy Pemberton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheques totalling £12,500 were given out at the presentation evening.  The beneficiaries were Balsall and Berkswell Hornets Football Club, Balsall Common Scouts, Berkswell and Balsall Common Rugby Club, Berkswell Cricket Club, Burton Green Residents’ Association, Berkswell Scouts, The Jubilee Centre, Fast Aid, ATC, Heart of England School hardship fund, Meriden School and Talking Newspapers. This year’s travel bursary was awarded to Amy Shadbolt of the 2nd Balsall Common Scouts to go towards her attendance at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA.

The Little Ray of Sunshine dementia cafe based in Kenilworth received £1200 raised through a 100 Club Draw with an additional £500 donated to the Cameron Grant Memorial Fund. This year’s 100 Club beneficiary will be the Friendship Project for Children.

Cathy Edwards Little Ray of Sunshine Cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A series of Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to local groups and organisations who help the Lions achieve as much as they do.  They went to: Unity Automotive, the Heart of England Coop, C P Barbers, The Bugle, The Village Hall, Balsall Parish Council, Alan Heath & Sons, Jamieson Christie, Angela Jaynes Florist, Oakes Farm Shop and the A1 Motorshop.  Carl Hemming of Ginger Property also received a certificate for his support of the annual bonfire and Santa’s sleigh. He also nominated the Cameron Grant Memorial Fund as his chosen charity to receive a donation instead of a fee for his work.

Lion Ray with Evan Grant from the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lion President Steve Meakin said: “Once again our annual presentation night is a fantastic chance to reflect on the club’s hard work through the year, to thank all of those people who have supported us and made it possible for us to raise so much money for other local clubs and societies. Our 40 members, and many more friends, work very hard to achieve what we do. We’re always looking for more people to join us, either as a full member or for specific events. If you’d like to find out more about joining us please get in touch. Call Mark Whitfield on 07795 184745, email whitfieldfamily@btinternet.com or send us a message on Facebook www.facebook.com/BalsallCommonLionsClub. Here’s to a fantastic 2018.”

Amy Price Dance Fitness

“Get fit, have fun!”

That’s the message from Amy Price, where the emphasis is on fun, dance based aerobic style workouts at two venues in Balsall Common.

The Jubilee – Balsall Common

Mondays and Tuesdays
9:30am

Free parking

227 Station Road (behind Costa Coffee)
Balsall Common
CV7 7FE

St Peter’s Hall

St Peter’s Hall
Holly Lane
Balsall Common
CV7 7EA

Free parking

Contact Information
Mobile: 0771 881 7491
Email: apdancefitness@gmail.com

 

Look out for ‘Silver Steppers’ Too

Amy also runs dedicated sessions for older active adults which take place on Tuesdays at The Jubilee (as above) at 11am.

Discover Amy Price Dance Fitness on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/AmyPriceDanceFit/