The Great Barr Hall Consultation

As I posted a couple of days as I was not able to go so grateful to Margaret for this reply on another thread.

Attended this evenings consultation@ Collingwood centre. A slick presentation by the architects. Good luck to the owners & developers in their endeavours to make ‘a silk purse from a sow’s ear’
Well, it appears that further housing will be included in this development, I sense an exclusive & secured estate.The present owners have quite rightly secured the area to discourage undesirables & their unsociable activities but from personal observation, I have noted evidence of ‘drinking dens’
near the entrance to the Nether Hall Estate (the problems do not go away, they crop up elsewhere)
I sincerely trust that the new development turns out to be all that’s hoped for, unlike the Bovis estate ( if ever there was a case for ‘Rogue Traders’ this is one) We learned tonight, that the residents of Nether Hall will be paying a management fee for upkeep of the area, presumably this is in addition to council tax. I wonder who this will be paid to as I’ve been informed that Bovis no longer own the woodland adjoining Park Farm/Foxwood Avenue.My enquiries to both Walsall council, local councillors & Bovis have proved fruitless.So, who do Nether Hall & Park Farm residents refer to when they have issues?

I replied with

Thanks Margaret as I mentioned on another post I Was unable to attend this due to work commitments.

So some points

Nether Hall has not been adopted by the Council so any upkeep on roads etc is now to the residents there.

As for the woodland any ownership of this land should be seen in the Land Registry lists. The local council and councillors should be aware of this and I am disappointed no response was received.

Then you have the big issue, the issue that is well known. The only way to restore the area with out public money is through the building of housing. that will be the debate as we move on and I am sure it will inflame views.

In my view I see no alternative to some building on there to preserve the land, there will be no public money for this. So the choice then becomes stark.

18 thoughts on “The Great Barr Hall Consultation

  1. I take on board your comments ref. additional building, but from what was seen on the plans last night, this would have a major effect on residents of Chapel Lane. So whilst this action may preserve some of the land, we as ‘Chapel Lane residents’ will no longer be able to enjoy it,as it will be obscured by two storey houses! Strangely the questionaire that has been highlighted, was never actually forward to Chapel Lane residents????

    • Hi,

      For those of us not there and adding onto what Margaret said is it possible to describe what they were planning. Am I right in thinking that the new builds will be on the St Margaret’s church side then ?

      Did they describe how much housing this would entail ?

  2. Hi
    The plans indicated possible builds around the outskirts of the park on Chapel Lane. They would be situated on the right hand side of the Lane in the direction of the Church from the Holiday Inn. There were also some plans for building around the lake, although this appears to be limited. The numbers mentioned yesterday were anything between 40 to 100. The plans were a little vague in that they only indicated areas of potention build. They would only be accessible from the main drive in to the Hall. If you have ever looked at the plans that George Wimpey had proposed and subsequently had rejected back in 2004, it is pretty much the same area

  3. I also attended the meeting and i asked the question how are the renovations going to be paid for the response was that they propose to build houses on four sites. I also asked the question about access and the response was one way in and the same way out via a gated access.

  4. thanks for the information. if the plans are as the old ones were then there will be almost 100% against them from whichever side of the park people live. the major problem is whether the new relaxed planning g rules introduced this year can stop them.

    Or are people willing to accept these plans in return for the full restoration of the park and all.

    If you want the hall and park renovated then there is little choice but to accept housing on there.

    • I fully support the restoration of the hall and Parkland, but fail to see why it should be at the cost of others. As previously mentioned, if these plans were to go ahead, us residents on Chapel lane would no longer be able to see the parkland to enjoy !

      • How would you pay for it then ?

        Look there is no public money for this, not even lottery money. The land is in private hands. The cost of what they plan could well be £40M or more, how do you think this could be paid for.

        It is the devil’s choice bit it is one you have to decide on yourself.

  5. As i think many local residents suspected they would, in Pheasey/Park Farm, Nether Hall, Chapel Lane/Coronation Road etc; the latest owners of Great Barr Hall and some of the surrounding parkland (now clearly) intend to make an application to build yet more unwanted houses in the green belt Great Barr Park.
    As a long time local campaigner against development in Great Barr Park; and the recent UKIP Local Election candidate for Pheasey/Park Farm/Nether Hall/Orchard Hills, myself; and the Walsall branch of UKIP; will oppose any and every attempt to further concrete over any other part of Great Barr Park.
    Reading the comments made by ‘Frustrated Chapel Lane Resident’, it appears that any new application to build more houses in the Park will mirror earlier attempts by pervious owners/developers to further desecrate the area.
    Many local residents across Pheasey/Park Farm will i’ve no doubt fight again to stop any further development in GBP; As hopefully will our good neighbours in Nether Hall and Chapel Lane/Coronation Road.
    As the side of Chapel Lane nearest to the Birmingham Road and Coronation Road are in West Bromwich East, it may be best for residents intending to fight more unwanted house building in the Park to elect an independent candidate to fight for the local ward seat in the next Local Council Elections. Relying on members of the useless Fib/Lab/Con to fight for you on issues such as this is not an option, as residents here in Pheasey/Park Farm can bitterly testify to from painful experience.

    (EDIT – Steve if you want a party political message then use your own site or others)

    As for electing anyone in the neighbouring ward, pointless, it is Walsall Council that will make the call not Sandwell.

  6. Ian I too attended the consultation and as you always suspected housing is going to pay for the restoration. Some points to note are firstly it is not another bovis development , and is in fact a small development of “country estate” type houses (as the architects put it) these they felt would be more in keeping with what could have been on an estate like this. Secondly during my conversations with them they informed me that English heritage want a line of trees from pylon to pylon to one get rid of the unsitely views of the pylons and secondly create more of a park feeling. This would in reality mean the residents of chapel lane will have the views interrupted regardless if there was housing or not . However by restoring the park it would mean the green open space will once again be open all be it restricted timescales for our kids to play in and to us to once again enjoy the beautiful walks. He also said they were creating a tree line wildlife corridor along the motorway side and restoring the ancient moats in the grounds. As you rightly said sometimes we have to give up a little to gain more in the long run!!!!!. Final point they made was in terms of costs of restoration to money raised from house sales the owners have no desire to make a PROFIT. As I understood it when I questioned them on a one to one basis the owners despite the housing have put monies from their own pocket and will carry on doing so to compete the project. So in reality these guys are going to putting a sizable amount of their own money to restore the estate.
    I went in with an open mind , and whilst I am not entirely happy with more housing, at least it’s not as many as feared and it seems like quality housing will be built. The more important thing is the hall looked beautiful in the artist impressions and I think Walsall will have its jewel back. It honestly looks like the real thing and a lot of people walked out of their nodding their heads in approval. !!!!!!!

    • Thank you for the detailed report.

      I retain an open mind on this until I see the plans for myself, how many people turned up ?

      IT is clear any work to restore the hall and park has to have housing to fund it, the choice is clear for people on this. IF the work is done in the right way, if it protects what is there already and does not place a further burden on the area then I think a few could support that.

      did they give an indication of the when the planning consent would be submitted ?

  7. Hi Ian,
    On this site in the not too distant past you’ve invited myself and Adrian Andrew to make political points. Now that one of us has made a political point that you don’t like/disagree with you take away that facility. A typical fascistic response from a non-democratic supporter of a pro-EU anti-democracy political party!!!!!!
    It would most definately not be pointless for local residents in Chapel Lane/Coronation Road to fight to take the ward seat for themselves in the next Local Council Elections. The planning decision regarding any planning application regarding Great Barr Hall and it’s surrounding parkland will of course be taken by Walsall MBC, but political pressure from a neighbouring area will be a useful tool in any fight to keep all development out of the Park. It’s also the democratic right of residents of Chapel Lane/Coronation Road to take that course of action if they so choose.

  8. There was quite a lot of people that turned up and were continuing to do so throughout the evening. I quite liked how the architects took the time to talk to people and they were quite open in answering any questions a person had, I thought it worked quite well in so far as it was individual question and answers aswell as a short presentation every half hour or so thereby allowing everyone a chance to talk about the things that concerned them.
    I do think it is being done very professionally as they are looking at restoring the hall , a lawned terrace, french garden,installing boathouses and bridges etc. they even showed open parkland hidden by trees towards chapel lane. I have to say I am quite excited by the prospect of us getting ugh a beautiful site on our doorsteps. Ian I think we should really use this opportunity to get bovis to come good on their promises and sort their side out , and we could really have a wonderful treasure for years to come…
    So far so good!!!!!!!

    • I have taken on board your comments and have pondered over them. Interesting to note you were the all evening?? I agree the architects gave a good presentation and the plans looked great, I was really encouraged by the ideas. But as I maintain, at what cost?? If it is a certain type of housing they are proposing then I will wait with an open mind to see the next stage of the proposal. Yes you are correct the plans indicated that trees would be planted to hide the pylons obscuring Chapel lane views, or to hide the housing development? 40 houses(this number was not guaranteed that it would not increase) whilst it seems a small amount given the size of the park, appeared to be focused around Chapel lame side. Having taken a look at the land today that would pretty much cover most of the area up to said tree line. As I have said I will remain open minded now until the plans become a little more detailed, it is difficult to judge the impact when looking at
      shaded areas on a map…As these properties will only have one means of axcess, again on Chapel lane, this too concerns me. Having looked also at the architects website, this has encouraged me alittle, let’s see and fingers crossed. I would also be interested to no what is their first priority, the hall or the houses??? Going back to the point about the trees obscuring Chapel lane views anyway , from my own choice I would rather see said trees and a field before it. I except building is inevitable, but can this not be spread across the land, and not specific to one side. I will wait and see with interest, the next stage, and proposed plans.

      Just to comment on Steve/ Ian Chapel lane is part of Walsall not Sandwell????

      • Simply the Hall can not be rebuilt without the cash from the homes. There is no other choice at all. Like everyone we await the actual plans but I hope that the council if they pass homes put strict orders on the hall redevelopment this have to be strictly enforced.

        Thats the problem I have, the record on making Bovis fulfill their promises has been abysmal.

  9. Hi FCLR,
    The only part of Chapel Lane i’ve posted about, is the small section past St Margaret’s Church and adjacent to the Birmingham Road. This is in West Bromwich East and not in Walsall. The main length of Chapel Lane below Coronation Road is in Walsall.
    My fairly new copy of the Birmingham/Black Country AZ clearly has the border between West Bromwich East and Walsall marked in red between Coronation Road and St Margaret’s Church on page 66.
    That far western end of Chapel Lane, Coronation Road, The Grove and Merrions Close are all in West Bromwich East.
    If you have an older copy of the AZ, you’ll find the same border details on pages 46 and 47.

  10. As a Nether Hall Resident I look at any promises by any development company with a sense of huge skepticism. Bovis Home sold to the local populace and especially people like me who bought a home on the estate that there would be huge amounts of renovation to the parkland. 5 years ago we would told that in no time at all we would be able so cycle or walk around woodland over the whole estate, enjoy the restored walled gardens, brooks, streams etc. By the end of 2012 we have a bit of lawn in the centre of the development and a sometimes open, always scary portal into the parkland where you soon come face to face with friendly dobermans guarding the hall. We were also all assured that the local infrastructure would support the development but there are no new schools, doctors or shops.

    To make it clear though at the moment Nether Hall residents are not expected to pay any management costs.

    I cannot see how the enabling work will either lead to a) the funds to maintain the hall or b) improve (and importantly secure) the parkland around. I also cannot see how the area can support another 40 to 100 new families?!?

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