Apologies for the lack of updates recently but I am now working in London so my time is now rather limited. I obviously still take a close interest in the ongoing discussion about Great Barr Hall and note with interest the piece in last week’s Observer.
We do have a comment from a local Councillor in Adrian Andrew welcoming the discussions and in general the plans as we know them. However I do also note in the same piece there is again no discussion on how the building works will be paid for, that is the crucial point. Approaches to the new owners have failed to answer the question so we wait and see for the planning proposals to be submitted.
I did get excited (yep, thats the type of life I lead !!) when I saw a planning application for the area (12/1486/FL) but on inspection this is only about changing the building types for the third phase of the development (running at the back of Park Farm Road).
However on a previous blog the piece below was posted by a Nether Hall Resident and I believe it requires a wider viewing.
He/She raises two points which I will discuss after the quote.
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?!?
On the first point I totally agree. The people on Nether Hall have been totally let down by Bovis in many ways. The environment is frankly bad for people to live with slowed up developlments. I am aware also the quality of the finishing to the housing. On top on this frankly the relationship between the residents on Nether Hall and the rest of Pheasey is non existent.
We do share the same political boundaries, we do share the same facilities and have to live in the same space as each other. It would be great to have better community cohesion but I fear there are too many obstacles to that.
On the second point as mentioned above we are all in the dark on how this will be paid for. The pieces in the Observer have been very soft and almost a PR release. It is only when we have the full plans laid in front of us any of us can judge. By now it would be good for the owners to come out with a public statement on how they will pay for it.