Planning questions outstanding – UPDATED

When you run a blog and are very interested in local events you notice that planning disputes are often the number one cause of disputes.

Whether it is between neighbours, over a phone mast or the large issues over the future of NetherHall, residents will always be highly animated by these issues. Every week I check Walsall planning ONLINE for their weekly list and the only items recently have been plans for extensions and normal tree felling.

I have been asked this week if I know the progress of two issues and these are

– GREAT BARR HALL – We had the consultations a while back and heard nothing since. I have checked Lapworth Architects and nothing is listed on there now for Gt Barr Hall apart from the old historic links from 2012. From what I understand we are still awaiting the plans to be lodged but this seems to be taking a while now. I am concerned that the project has stalled has it has been 6 months since we heard anything.

– OLD BEACON ROAD GARAGE – If you remember this eyesore was due to be a dentists but that obviously fell through after some prep work. Surely this is a perfect location to put some flats on which would make the whole area more amenable ? Obviously the land is in private hands which means they can just sit on it until they want to develop or sell it. This is maybe one area where councils should have the ability to ‘force’ developments if current land owners wish to do nothing.

I will mail Valerie Vaz MP and Councillors Andrew, Bird and Towe a note of this post and see if they have had any feedback or news.


EDIT Sat 1st June

Both Adrian Andrew and Valerie Vaz have come back and said no further news has been received on either issues. I am not surprised on this. I just suspect the commercial aspect of both sites is prohibiting development at the moment.

21 thoughts on “Planning questions outstanding – UPDATED

  1. In response to the second point made the council can obtain the land if they wish to develop it for the betterment of the public through a CPO, Compulsory Purchase Order, as stipulated in the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1992. The have the ability to acquire the land which can be used them for development purposes but it’s very difficult to ‘force’ development.

  2. true Ben but usually occurs in large developments. In this case it is a total eyesore and nothing can be done if some one is land banking it.

  3. Of course you are correct to point out the size of land, however it can still be done. That is the nature of the open free market economy. You, me and anyone with a bit of capital can go and purchase some land and its yours to do whatever you want to it, within reason of course. With the economy the way it is I don’t blame the owner for not developing it. Not only are banks not lending the capital the owner may need, but land values and property values are all down on what they were and development costs are increasing. It wouldn’t be a smart move to start a development now given the uncertainty of the market we’re in. Unfortunately it is a waiting game and I don’t think councils and like should have any authority in exerting pressure on private individuals or private companies in regards to pushing through development. The eyesore will continue to stay until we see real economic progress on a national scale before local and regional centres can also begin their recovery.

  4. Hi Ian,
    I agree with your view that in a suburb such as ours planning issues are usually the number one source of disputes/public anger. Like yourself, myself and all of those locals involved down the years in the fight to keep Great Barr Park free of any more housing development are keeping a close eye on the park and any threat to any of the other green belt areas across Pheasey/Park Farm. As i’ve posted previously, West Midlands UKIP MEP, Mike Nattrass and his Press Officer, Craig Wynyard are also both keeping

  5. wary eyes on the situation.
    The former garage sites on the junction of Moreton Avenue and Beacon Road and on the Queslett Road just along from Doe Bank Lane have for too long now been in need of attention. Both eyesore sites should be subject to compulsory purchase as recommended by Ben in a recent post; with the Queslett Road site completely cleared and decontaminated and then returned to the green belt; and the Moreton Avenue/Beacon Road site

  6. given over to residential use only. Due to major issues regarding parking on Moreton Avenue on Mondays to Saturdays from 8am till 7pm, three or four detatched or semi-detatched houses to fit in with the Victorian Beacon cottages and the 1950’s detatched houses on Moreton Avenue, with drives/parking spaces for one or two cars would in my opinion be a preferable option to flats, which because of the limited space available would almost

  7. certainly have no provision for parking. For the same reason building a non-residential structure/structures on the site would be an absolute non-starter in my view.
    P.S. Why are my posts now suddenly limited to only 7 lines at a time??????

  8. In reply to point 1, what’s happening with Great Barr Hall Estate…i am aware that the owners are currently having a number of searches done on the surrounding grounds towards Chapel Lane, to assist with planning application to build houses….seems this is the priority focus as i suspected…..

    • It always was Shell. How else do you think a restoration of a building the state of Gt Barr Hall could be afforded anyway ?

      Far too late for any public money money to be spent so the choice is stark

      Accept housing to restore the site, the land and park


      Accept no further restoration and the place falls into total disrepair with no security etc.

      There is not a magic pot of money to draw upon and if/when we get the planning proposals submitted this will the choice that councillors will have to make.

      • As I said Ian, no mention of any restoration work on Hall, when I went to the opening evening, the owners advised me that the Hall would be the priority, this doesnt appear to be the case. What will your opinion be if housing goes ahead and no work on the house and surrounding land is completed?? I tend to agree with Steve’s comment and those of the people across Pheasey/Park Farm in that something will happen once the houses are built, which will stop any further developement of the Hall.

  9. Hi Shell,
    Interesting posts. Most people across Pheasey/Park Farm that i’ve spoken to with regard to the latest owners of Great Barr Hall, the surrounding parkland and their proposals all think that the only intention is to further despoil our green belt Great Barr Park with more houses, concrete and tarmac. On completion and sale of those said properties most locals think that the owners will then file for bankruptcy before any serious work to restore the Hall and grounds has even been begun.

  10. Shell, it is a real difficult problem, the chicken and the egg of course. They need the money from developments to fund the hall but want to make sure the hall gets developed.

    Actually this is where strict planning permission comes in isn’t it ?
    Make sure that whatever rules you give that are broken are strictly enforced.

    If you say no housing or other development then you have to accept the whole hall area will be finally left to die.

  11. I see our work shy local councillors are yet aging on the ball leading our community with the big news article in the observer.. oh sorry it is just a copy of this blog but using their name as thou it was there article look at page 2 on the observer 21/06/2013 re The former garage site on the junction of Moreton Avenue and Beacon Road is this not typical of them just using other peoples thoughts to try and get their name in the local papers!!

  12. Hi James,
    If your comments on here, Ian’s, Ben’s, mine etc; and news articles like those in this weeks Great Barr Observer lead to Walsall MBC issuing a compulsory purchase order on the land and the, for example, building of 3,4 or 5 homes on the site to complement the Victorian Beacon cottages on Beacon Road and the 1950’s detatched houses on Moreton Avenue, well that’s all to the benefit of all of us here in Pheasey/Park Farm.

  13. And let’s not forget the eyesore on Queslett Road just along from Doe Bank Lane; That site needs clearing, de-contaminating and returning to the green belt; While they’re about it they can remove the phone mast on Waverley Avenue as well, another eyesore that most people in our suburb want gone asap!!!!!

  14. THE MAST.Pheaseyans have been getting filters for their tellies,Park Farmers are obviously in the same boat as our Council reps, we don’t get one,we live too far away,the Great Barr Observer must be telling the people who to send them to,( and hope everyone only has 1 telly as 1 filter is your lot.)as they print articles for our area in Walsall Obs.only!
    Anyone got any news on the mast appeal?

    • now you have lost me DJ, what filters ?? not heard of that ….

      as for the Mast, after the judicial appeal failed there are few if any avenues are left. I believe the council is still looking into it though.

  15. Ian,exactly so,,some Pheaseans have had filters delivered free of charge,without asking, to stop interference from the mast to their TV reception on freeview ..calling themselves Lets be clear at 0800.

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