MAJOR News about Great Barr Hall

Finally after months of waiting I have found out today that the planning development for Great Barr Hall is in.

This appears to be the first news of this and the planning application was submitted on the 2nd October and is number 13/1330/ND

It can be found by accessing this LINK and entering in the Planning application number.

All documents are found in this link but the key details are

Environmental Impact Screening Opinion for restoration and alterations to Great Barr Hall Grade II* Listed Building and Grade II Registered Park including:-
– creation of hotel/wedding conference
– restore lawns to Great Barr Hall
– Gatehouse lodges
– maintenance building/store
– 58 new dwellings
– Enhanced open space & nature conservation
– Acoustic barrier & planting tree belt
– Boat House
– Demolition of Farm Buildings

The number of new dwellings is lower than I expected at 58 ( I expected 100) but the plans indicate very high value properties. I have to read the documents in detail before I come to any snap conclusion but I am minded to say that I will support this development.

Let the debate begin !

169 thoughts on “MAJOR News about Great Barr Hall

  1. All anyone residing in Pheasey/Park Farm and neighbouring areas needs to know regarding the latest planning application relating to Great Barr Hall and Great Barr Park is the stark fact that the applicants want to further desecrate the park by dumping another 58 houses there. What’s the betting that should the proposed development be accepted, shortly after the homes are built the applicants will file for bankruptcy without spending any money whatsoever on restoring Great Barr Hall and Park. Many local reside

  2. nts, including myself, will oppose this planned further assault on Great Barr Park. This latest application should be blasted into oblivion together with the hated phone mast on Waverley Avenue.

  3. if we just look at Gt Barr Hall what is your proposal Steve without housing and how would it be costed, given it is private land ?

    No good being a naysayer with no solution of your own is it ?

    I believe this proposal as the support of all the relevant bodies and interested people, if this is different I have yet to see it.

  4. Hi Ian; There is no proposal regarding Great Barr Hall alone, so your question is irrelevant. After almost 30 years of working with other local residents to keep building development out of Great Barr Park, i’ve yet to meet anyone else from Pheasey/Park Farm other than yourself that thinks it’s a good idea to concrete over any single part of the Park. Your relevant bodies, whoever they may be, can go stuff themselves!!

  5. This is the most comprehensive scheme that has ever been put forward to resolve an issue that has been hanging over this area for the best part of 40 years.

    This equates to approximately £10million investment in the area and from day one the owners and their architect have actively and properly engaged with English Heritage, local campaigners, the council and have undertaken community consultation – they are certainly more professional than what we have had in the past.

    Great Barr Hall should have been a millennium project and it is the failure of those around at the time that it was not. We all opposed the development of St Margaret’s and some of are fears are coming to fruition but the fact remains they are residents in our community living next door to this site and their view needs to be considered.

    The applicants, so I understand, have held some consultation events (i did not attend) and funnily enough those who spoke to me before had a reactionary attitude towards it once they had seen the plans were much more supportive. There was never going to be 100+ houses it was always going to be around what the applicants have submitted mainly due to discussions with English Heritage.

    There are over 100 acres of land here and both the woodland and the Hall are protected and I think a reactionary attitude and the answer is no, what is the question attitude has had a massive part to play in the hall and park/woodland deteriorating over the last 40 years. We have had a lost decade with the previous owners who I never spoke to and never tried to contact me.

    What else is the answer? I have met with Heritage Lottery Fund with Bob Winkle to seek advice on how to purchase the site when it was up for sale and it is nigh on impossible to get funding for purchases let alone in short timescales so without ownership of the site how can plans and bids be put in to maintain and clear up the site. No matter what proposal has come forward for the Hall and the Park Land it has always needed enabling development and this is still the case and English Heritage, in conversations I have had in the past, accept the need for enabling development for both the Park Land and the Hall.

    Is the solution to throw millions of pounds of taxpayers money into what could become a money pit? There is, from my previous knowledge and discussion, an immediate £1million liability with the dam that needs repair let alone before you have purchased the site and paid for a comprehensive woodland and park land management plan (a statutory obligation) that is before any start on site or any thought about the Hall.

    We could go on and on and on about the past and consider a utopian view of the world to turn the clock back but the reality is the reality. I am quite happy to look at and listen to other solutions that do not include taxpayers money and no development but the reality is that this is the only game in town at present and the site needs clearing up, the Hall needs attention and other issues associated with the site need tackling.

    My suggestion is take a good long hard look at the plans before you make your mind up and if anyone can come up with anything else feel free to put the ideas forward. This is a complex issue that frankly deserves more than the answer is no, what is the question attitude.

  6. Most local residents will probably ask two pertinent questions (to begin with) in relation to the latest application in regard of Great Barr Park and Great Barr Hall. 1. Do we want another 58 houses and more roads dumped into the green belt Great Barr Park? – And 2. If the 58 houses are built, do we trust the developers not to simply sell them, pocket the cash, file for bankruptcy and head for the hills without spending any money on refurbishing the hall and park? – I believe that this proposal is nothing more

  7. than an attempt to build 58 more houses in the greenbelt that a majority of local residents will not want to see dumped there; and a number of individuals pocketing a large amount of cash at both our expense and that of the local natural environment.

  8. Steve you have got to be the most cynical dim witted individual I have seen. All I ever hear from you is criticism and an anate ability to think the worst of every one. Why don’t you for a change use that gob of yours and maybe even engage that pea of a brain to suggest a solution, instead of spouting negative politics. And before you start spouting about the past live “in the today ” and tell us what your solution today would be , and one that wouldn’t cost me the tax payer a fortune.!!! Let’s see if you can respond intelligently.!!!.

  9. Ho Hum, here we go again, the first comments regarding this application from one of the individuals using a pseudonym instead of a name; And nope you’ve probably never ‘seen’ me, because you probably don’t even reside in or live anywhere near Pheasey/Park Farm. If you do actually reside here then why not state your name? – ‘Most cynical’? Definately, i wouldn’t argue otherwise. As for being ‘dim witted’ well ‘anate’ is not actually a word; innate is the term you were presumably looking to use mastermind

  10. With regard to a ‘solution today’ in relation to this latest application concerning Great Barr Park and Great Barr Hall, well it’s still to oppose dumping even one more house, apartment block, etc etc in the green belt Great Barr Park; I can’t really see such a stance costing tax payers a fortune – or costing tax payers anything actually.

  11. so Steve your position is no housing at all (and I do agree that you have to think of them building the housing then disappearing and a legal agreement should cover it), do you accept that the Hall and grounds can be restored without housing.

    If so how ?

    If not then you are saying that what remains should be left to nature ?

  12. Hi Ian, my stance was absolutely no housing whatsoever should ever be built in Great Barr Park back in 1985; my position on this remains (and will remain) unchanged. If you know of any legal document in existence that prevents any company or individual from filing for bankruptcy, well i; and i’m sure many other people would be interested to hear details of it. I’m only interested in discussing the current application regarding Great Barr Park and Great Barr Hall. If you wish to have a conversation regarding any hypothet

  13. hypothetical situation regarding the hall and park then you’ll have to find someone other than myself to have that conversation with.

  14. so you say no to one proposal but have none at all to suggest, Easy to be a naysayer, anyone can do that but your option is then to do nothing at all and you wish to stand for election on a platform of letting the place just fall down even more ?

  15. So I will say where I stand. Since I posted this last week I looked at the documents in depth and I will say I am minded to support the plans with maybe a couple of provsio’s on access etc.

    I said on here before if the cost of restoring the hall and grounds is housing it was always about the numbers on that and how it was done. Need to see more detailed plans on layout before I can finally say.

    No doubt there will be a public exhibition of these plans ( i hope) and after that I will give a final judgement.

    Unlike you Steve, saying no for me is NOT an easy answer with nothing else to back it up,

  16. If i get time this weekend I will post more in depth on my personal thoughts on the plans. Before anyone says anything this is no way any official party line at all.

  17. When the voters of Pheasey/Park Farm go to the polling stations to cast their ballots on May 10th next year, many of those making the decision to vote for a particular Party or candidate, will have the current application relating to Great Barr Park and Hall in mind. Hypothetical questions concerning the park and hall will play no part in that decision making process. UKIP official policy with regard to Great Barr Park is to oppose all building development in the park, a policy in place since the Walsall branch of

  18. UKIP was formed over thirteen years ago. UKIP offical party policy locally is to oppose all building development anywhere in the green belt in Pheasey/Park Farm, Nether Hall Park, Orchard Hills, Streetly and Aldridge South and Central.

  19. I live on the Nether Hall Estate, close to Horseshoe Way. For the past 18 months our family have lived here and it has not been pleasant, as soon as the sun goes down, we seem to see every person with an ASBO attached to their name come out to play.
    Of an evening we have children/teenagers come from various directions, which run riot until early hours of the morning, jumping/climbing lamp posts, urinating on cars, drinking alcohol, swearing at the top of their voice at 2am in the morning. They are using our estate to walk towards the old house and land.
    On weekends we have 4x4s, dirt motor bikes, and loud loud incredibly loud quads. They drive round the land at high speed with no regard for safety. I no longer take my 1 year old daughter there for walks on weekends as its too dangerous.
    During the summer the area became a “dogging” ground, and we used to see used condoms up by the top gate when entering the gates of the old house.
    There was a meeting about all of these problems with Council, Police and Bovis Homes, on wednesday at Colling Wood Centre, as we cannot live like this anymore.
    I am happy they are building the house, as it will get rid of many problems of anti social behaviour. Im not too sure if I want houses built there or not, but I know that I would prefer them, then leave the land to nature and the ASBO people.
    The views or lack of direction from Steve Grey above I believe to be very irresponsible and dangerous, and clearly show that he is not in touch with day to day issues and from what I can tell did not even turn up to the meeting as there has been no mention of this.
    The residents at Nether Hall are fed up with the problems, and this can be clearly seen from the Facebook page that has been set up to vent anger.

  20. can you give us an update on what is being done and who from the council was at the meting on wednesday at Colling Wood Centre and if possible are they going to publish any of the information that they gave out


  21. Two councillors, one of which was Andrews. The other not sure of his name.
    2 Police women were present, part of the neighbour hood watch team, a member from Walsall ASBO team and 2 reps from Bovis.
    There were around 100 people present along with the person who owns the old house.
    Bovis have said they will help secure and cameras would be going up from Walsall Council.
    It got quite heated, as there are a lot of problems on the estate.
    All the info is on the Nether Hall Facebook page, along with details about the meeting next saturday regarding the plans with the old house.

  22. I never saw Adrian’s point above and to reply to that, I am in full agreement with what he says.(he will be shocked) …

    I want to see the Hall and gardens restored and if this deal includes some housing then that is a price at the moment I must say I am willing to pay. Instinctively I against any green belt development but it will improve the area as stated by Sushma.

    I will post her reply up as a post because it deserves wider attention. I consider Netherhall as part of Pheasey and not separate and thus I care what happens there.

    My concern is one Steve echoed about having to make sure that the Hall redevelopment does go hand in hand with the housing and I am sure planning can put down rules for this that are legally enforceable.

  23. Ian since when has saying NO and not offering an alternative been wrong? Good God, you live on a different planet!

    There are plenty of times and reasons to say no and offer no alternative, generally this is when the idea or proposal is absurd … and more houses on OUR green belt is ABSURD. They should never have built there in the first place and should build no more there ever again.

    Why? Well these properties were built with no consideration for anything or anyone but money. They were not built to be part of Pheasey/Park Farm and that is why they called the estate Nether Hall in the first place. A posh modern name to sell cheaply built houses at a premium in a park. If this plan gets the go ahead as Steve warns, it will likely end up going bad again, but even worse. Lets face it, if they build houses to finance the renovation and restoration of the hall, before they get to finance the hall the shareholders of whomsoever builds will be wanting more profits and looking for every way out of continuing on to do so.

    Let us say that they did not and actually went ahead with all the works as promised, what would that leave the residents of Nether Hall with? There would be more residents and they would be subject to other problems, like late night traffic to the hotel/wedding conference centre/ restaurant as well as all the extra traffic going in there during the daytime hours too.

    So there are just a few reasons, not there has to be a reason to say no.

    The real answer is to first deal with the issues on Nether Hall which clearly at the moment the police and council cannot achieve. Then there is the need to find a way to restore the hall without building more houses and stealing more green belt.

    If this or any government got a grip with immigration there would be no more need to build more houses at all and if a government could be found that would get us out of the EU, we may just be able to fund the restoration from public funds rather than have to rely on an ABSURD idea like this.

    Oh and by the way Ian, if the plan gets the go ahead the only way to ensure they do everything they promise to do, is to ensure that they do the hall and gardens etc before a single brick is laid on a single new house.

    Hopefully though, there will be no more house building there or anywhere else on our Walsall greenbelt.

  24. Hello Sushma; My cousin David died just over 2 weeks ago; I was at his funeral on Wednesday afternoon in Stourport On Severn and with members of his family later over in Bewdley. I am aware of serious issues with youths in Nether Hall and would have attended the meeting had i been in Pheasey/Park Farm on Wednesday. We have had 2 previous meetings where long standing issues regarding 4×4’s, quad and motor bikes tearing around Great Barr Park (as well as other problems) were discussed. It’s app

  25. alling that this situation has yet to be resolved. I strongly disagree with you with regard to dumping yet more housing in the green belt Great Barr Park. How exactly will building even more houses ease problems with out of control youths? The police and the courts should of course be doing that – and quickly!!!!!!!!!!

  26. “The views or lack of direction from Steve Grey above I believe to be very irresponsible and dangerous, and clearly show that he is not in touch with day to day issues and from what I can tell did not even turn up to the meeting as there has been no mention of this.”

    Sushma, as much as i understand your plight down there in NH, i think you are unreasonable to slate Steve in this way, apart from the reasons he mentioned above, how you can say he is out of touch is unbelievable.

    The problems on NH are not of Steve’s doing and he was anti the whole NH estate in the first place as was I.

    How is not wanting more houses irresponsible or dangerous?

    Why is opposing further houses out of touch?

    Steve advocates the greenbelt being restored, kept green, the hall being restored, the ASBO’s being dealt with, along with many other things that are good and decent.

    You on the other hand occupy land that was greenbelt and you want more of the greenbelt destroyed for your own ends, I call that irresponsible, dangerous and downright self centered!

    Please do not take that as a swipe at your good self, it is just designed to reflect the tone that you aimed towards Steve and slightly tongue in cheek too!

    I can only assume from your swipe at Steve that you have loyalties to his opposition in politics.

    I feel sorry for you all at NH with the aforementioned troubles but let us remember whom it was that allowed this situation to happen, let us remember whom it is that is failing you as rate payers and it is not Steve Grey.

    Please think of your future and the future of NH before you put your backing towards what could prove to be even worse for you in the end! Do you think having a hotel, wedding venue and conference centre on your door step is a good thing? Worse still, how about if you end up with the very same problem but with more victims (the residents of a further 58 houses)?

    • I hear where you are coming from, but from the previous posts on here by Steve, the 4x4s and troubles have been going on before I moved here.
      I don’t believe that immigration has everything to do with the lack of housing, how about things such as the aging population? Unless Paul your views are that ALL immigration should never have happened and people like myself who have contributed to this country should not be here?
      Steve I’m extremely sorry to hear about the loss in your family.
      But fact is the community has had 30/40 years to come up with plans to deal with this problem and nothing has happened, and so far all I can see and hear is let nothing happen again for another 30/40 years.
      You cant just say No, No, No.we need someone to come forward and tell us this is how it can be done. I think 30 years has been enough time to come up with something, someone must have an idea?

  27. Hi Sushma,

    Please believe me i am not all about immigration and i am certainly not against the immigration that has happened over the last 40 or 50 years or even further back. I am certainly not saying that people like yourself should not be here, far from it. You have contributed to this country, there are plenty nowadays that do not. I am talking about the ridiculous amount of immigration in recent years, the immigration that neither the labour or tory governments of recent years can give figures for – they can simply stick a finger in the wind and guess the amounts. The immigration from Europe, the people whom come here for benefits or our NHS which should now be called the international and not national health service.

    There is a place for immigration of course, but not in the massive waves we are seeing now.

    The extra housing that has been built in the last 20 or 30 years would have easily coped with our national growth in population due to longer life but the only reason we now have to steal green belt is to cope with the masses of migrants expected over the next few years.

    Just a thought, but if you knew of the troubles on there before you moved, then why move there? Surely you looked in to the area before moving there?

    It is high time that something was done over there in NH, but building more houses is not the answer. The core problems need solving first before you add more people to the misery.

    Have i the answer how? No, but then i am not responsible for having an answer! If i was i think i would have come up with a plan before now.

    What i do know is that it is disgusting to see something like this go to wrack and ruin.

  28. the face book is a closed group

    Netherhall park residents

    so we can not see the information about the meting on Wednesday can we have a synopsis of the meeting and the date and venue of next meeting


  29. Hi Sushma, i can and will ‘just say no, no, no’ to absolutely no more housing development here in our local greenbelt, just as Paul and many other local residents will do. The very last thing we need is another 58 properties, and hundreds more people and vehicles dumped into Great Barr Park. It’s very unlikely that the 58 dwellings proposed will be just 1 or 2 householder residencies. With regard to the individuals making lives a misery in Nether Hall, i repeat it’s high time the police and courts take a much

  30. tougher line with these people. Greedy, grasping property developers and concreting over more of our precious greenbelt will do nothing whatsoever to stop anti-social behaviour/criminal activity locally – that’s (supposedly) the job of the authorities; and now just as a couple of years ago when we had a bad outbreak of anti-social behaviour centered around the shops on Beacon Road, on Collingwood Drive at the old terminus and on Moreton Avenue, they appear to be falling down on that job.

  31. Following two very heated public meetings at the Collingwood Centre and Community Centre, to be fair the police did get to grips with two or three of the youths fuelling that last bad outbreak of anti-social behaviour, leading to a reduction in incidents of appalling behaviour. At the same time a number of furiously angry residents from Crail Grove, Kinross Crescent and Aviemore Crescent were demanding action by the police to stop the 4×4’s, quad and motor bikes being driven illegally through Great Barr Park, an

  32. incredibly noisy and intrusive nuisance and a problem for residents in Park Farm and Nether Hall that continues and should now be ended once and for all to the satisfaction of long suffering local residents.

  33. I disagree with Steve. I think that some form of development is necessary, Great Barr Hall CANNOT BE REPAIRED UNLESS SOMEBODY PAYS FOR IT, and that will not be the residents of Pheasey through any grant from the Council. But it must be the correct development not necessarily the first thing that comes along. So we need to look at all the arguments both for and against this development. Personally I think the first clause should be that no work can be carried out until the hall has been restored, however there is still one major problem that this proposed plan does not take into account, and that is the need to drain both the lakes and rebuild the dam, this was in the original planning application from Bovis, when they started the nether hall development in 2000. This was the main reason why Bovis in the settled to buy and build on the former St Margaret’s site and not to buy Great Bar Hall

  34. All that most actual local residents in Pheasey/Park Farm and neighbouring areas such as, for example, Paul and myself, are/will be concerned about, is preventing anyone from dumping another 58 houses in the green belt Great Barr Park. Attempts to change the direction of the discussion regarding further degradation of the local green belt will be challenged at every turn by myself and others. I may profoundly disagree with views held and

  35. propounded by Ian and Shusma, but respect the fact that they are local residents who have no problem with using their full names and don’t feel that they have to hide behind a pseudonym or a single Christian/first name. If others have something to say on this issue, well i’m sure that all genuine local residents would prefer just other real local residents using their full names make that input.

  36. Hi Paul,
    I personally did not know of the troubles before we moved in, it has only been brought to my attention during this discussion and via other residents. Bovis obviously did not inform us, we moved in from Lechlade, didnt think that the area would change with just a 2 minute drive, and we absolutely feel in love with the lakes!!!
    I appreciate you do not have the answer, but (correct me if im wrong) are you or Steve not politicians looking for votes?
    And this is where I am coming from, someone, whether they are in power now or want to be in power need to have some sort of plan. Or is the plan just to let the old house disappear to be just a memory? From what I am reading/researching it was an important part of the local history, and I would rather see it become something than just a bigger pile of bricks compared to now. Public funds are obviously not an option, but the building really does look like its on its last legs – Sarah Beany will have her work cut out on this one!!!!
    So, for you who is looking for my vote. Whats the plan?
    (PS im not looking for the politician answer of no more dumping of houses, or I dont have to have a plan, but a real answer for my real vote, in regards to the old house)

  37. What on earth gave you the idea i was a politician?

    The very last thing i want is to see the house crumble and if i had enough money i would buy it and renovate it myself. Mind you i did not want to see houses built on the site either and i certainly do not want anymore built there. What would be next? 500 houses on the fields surrounding, a mini estate on Barr Beacon? Before we know what has happened we will have no green between Great Barr, Sandwell and Great Barr, Walsall, where will it all end?

    I can see it now, the extra houses to finance the renovation fails to do so, this whole sorry saga continues and in the end the house has crumbled to dust and planning permission is given to build on the site of the hall. Still, never mind they may reclaim a few of the bricks and use them on the new estate!

    I really wish I or anyone else knew the answer but the current financial situation of the country probably says that there is limited viable answers. This still does not make houses there the answer though does it?

    You confuse me a little really, you seem more interested in the building of more housing than solving the problems? Surely, you should be more concerned with getting the problem solved than worrying about more houses?

    I cannot help thinking that with the lakes, hall and green belt still left and available, that there should be an answer without the houses. If only i knew how much it would cost to renovate the hall i could possibly have half a chance of making a solution using what is available!

    Can someone please post up the date and time of the next public meeting please, perhaps it may get a few more people there.

  38. Hi Sushma, no one is looking for votes save for whichever of the 3 Conservative Councillors is up for re-election next May, should they of course choose to contest the seat again. Everyone else has to wait until they are approved as official candidates by the Elections Office. I’ve been fighting to keep all housing development out of Great Barr Park since the 1980’s; before i became involved in local politics and joined the Labour Party. It was THE major local issue then for myself and a large number of other

  39. local residents; and it still is. Yourself, Ian and one or two people on here who refuse to give their names and who probably don’t live locally, seem determined to shift the conversation away from the 58 houses, well it won’t work. Myself, Paul and many of our friends and neighbours will be entirely focused on preventing further destruction of our local green belt. When the full list of the candidates standing in next May’s Local Council Election for the Pheasey/Park Farm Ward are issued; and you get to talk to the candidates

  40. read their election leaflets or read interviews with them in local newspapers, i trust that someone from the probable half dozen people standing will have done more than enough to win your vote.

  41. Sushma,for along time we have been represented by 3 absentee ones who don’t have to face local people ,as they don’t live near us.Phone masts,parking,your overcrowded estate,all talked about then they carry on with what they really want,” it don’t affect me folks”(they don’t live here!)
    Sadly you can waste effort and breath as I and others have done,what they have decided will be,have as many meetings as you like.People still vote for them, I am amazed.Still nice pay rise this eh this year councillors,thats all they care about. Sorry Sushma!!!

    • I have to say it was pleasing to see in the Great Barr Observer two weeks after posting on here, the local councillors with the issues I raised. It is how you raise them of course and the issue with Netherhall is well known.

      I wonder how many people when they moved in there realised it was Walsall Council that they were moving into and I know from canvassing most did not know. The other issue is that for example the roads are private and not maintained by the council, though I think that was changing.

      As for ASBO then that is totally in the remit of the police and here on Pheasey you would be pushed now to see a police car around. Cost cuts will have an impact here but frankly the land is too open and needs proper security brought on by development. Those naysayers do not figure this out and thus shows their contempt for the people living there.

    • You make quite wild accusations about absentee Councillors without identifying yourself or elaborating. We were actually at the NHP meeting organised by residents and have acted to get the issues pertaining to the council resolved although most were with regard to Bovis.

      We were at a recent neighbourhood watch meeting, community network meeting etc – have you ever asked us directly for our help or spoken to us – something even our political opponents on this site have done. And you will find that many Councillors do not live in the ward thy represent and the Last Labour candidate is now a councillor all the way over in Bloxwich (within months of standing here).

  42. Ok let’s not get distracted by politics the real problem is the park / hall And how to pay for repairing the hall and creating the park

    So some questions

    Has the owner of Great Barr Hall the necessary financial backing to restore great bar hall?
    Do Walsall council really want to have a new park and are they prepared to pay for it?
    Will the central government back this project finically?
    Will the local council compulsory purchase the land to take all financial control over it?

    I believe the answer to these questions is NO

    So that leaves 3 options

     Let the hall fall down and allow the park to become waste land :- this is not a viable solution on 3 counts

    1 the loss of a historic billing
    2 the unsocial behaviour issues on abandon park
    3 The danger of the dam failing if this was to happen then queslett road / the motorway and the house on queslett road would all have major flooding issues.

     Get funding from elsewhere now this is where the politics dose matter

    1 If Walsall Council and the land owners were to put some money into this project and get the full support of the local community then they could apply to the EU’s culture programmer, which since 2007 has provided €26m to co-finance heritage projects such as Bar beacon Park but unfortunately I do not think this will happen due to local politics

     Allow development of a new house estate to pay for the Renovations and remove the park

    So personally I now believe much to my own disappointment that development of a new house estate is the only option available that can be achieved.

    • What is the European money for Barr Beacon Park?

      If you are referring to the work on the memorial etc that is Heritage Lottery money and the Barr Beacon Trust – nothing whatsoever to do with Europe. This heritage lottery grant was secured thanks to local Councillors.

  43. James, you have totally echoed by thoughts.

    Ideally I would want all three councils that border the park to put their differences aside and work together. Great Barr Hall represents Sandwell, Birmingham and Walsall and this should have happened years ago …

    The land could have become the property of all three and used for whatever purposes each of the councils would wish to use it.

    However it did not and in these times will not happen as the costs now are enormous.

    So for the naysayers there is no other plan, they will not answer the point that if no housing what else is available. I like you James have come to the reluctant position that the only option to save the Hall and gardens is some limited housing and this is, then no further.

  44. Ian, how do the naysayers show contempt for the residents? You are the worst for using this to your own political advantage!

    Just because people disagree with something you think is the one and only answer does not mean that they are showing contempt!

    The problem here first is the ASBO problem, this needs sorting out before anything else!

    Second and not before the troubles are solved is the Great Barr Hall and Park issue.

    Putting a plaster on a cut knee does not stop your severed arm bleeding!

    It is high time for people to stop trying to use the plight of the good people of Nether Hall as an excuse for building more houses on our green belt and it is time for people to address the real issue which is sort the problems out!

    Never say never, Great Barr Hall could be saved and be inside Great Barr Park. I will think of a plan if it kills me and NO, i am not intending to stand as a politician on the Pheasey/Park Farm ward before that old chestnut rears it head again. I also have no connection to the hall, it’s owners or want to buy it before it is offered to me.

    • I look forward to your plan Paul because I have tried to think of one that could spend millions on the hall and grounds with NO housing and NO public money and it fails me.

      As for any political motive on my part, care to explain how

      1) That works when I have had to drop out of local politics due to working in London
      2) How supporting expensive housing benefits a Labour supporter ?

      All I want is the Hall restored as it should have been with Bovis and how it should have been when the NHS sold it on (local councils should have brought it then). The only way I see it is with the plans in front of us which are much better than I feared.

  45. The last time the Ward was contested in 2011, just 3 parties Conservative, UKIP and Euro-Labour put up candidates. Having spoken to a good number of local people across Park Farm, Nether Hall, Pheasey and Orchard Hills in the weeks leading up to polling day, i had a strong impression that a fair number of individuals were preparing to vote on national issues rather than any local concerns they may have had. With a large

  46. local issue now in the public domain and up for ‘heated’ discussion, it will be interesting to see how it impacts on our local election contest next May. The Conservatives, UKIP and Euro-Labour will without doubt put up candidates; and we’ve heard via this web site that we could see at least one independent candidate throw their hat into the ring. No doubt the Fib-Dems, Greens and English Democrats are now deciding whether or not to put up candidates for our Pheasey/Park Farm and Orchard Hills Ward.

  47. Ian, it is simple to explain both to you

    1. Are you still a member of the labour party? or is this site out of date? Then the answer is plain to see on that count.

    2. Labour are no longer the party of the working class, there is nearly as many labour MP’s with a public school education as there is tories. The labour party can no longer give claim to be the working mans party and as such, of course labour are behind building quality high value houses just like the tories are. It is what they want to live in.

    Ian man, admit it, the labour party are no different to the tories any more.

    As for a plan, well keep thinking like i am, there is an answer somewhere in there for us all to find.

    We are talking hotel here, quality listed building in a park with lakes! Surely that would be worth millions and central to the motorway network too!

    Yes, the local council failed, Bovis failed and the NHS failed too. I could tell you a little about the fall out from St Margarets one day if you ever fancy listening. Appaling is not the word!

    Finally, why not answer the question i keep posing on this subject?


  48. of course I am still a member of Labour so I still want to know the political gain ??

    As for hotel, that will not work because of the vast amount of money needed to restore it and then put in the facilities to earn it back. TBH I don;t think the current plans can make money as a conference centre as usually businesses want them close to City centres.

  49. So the political gain is obviously for your beloved Labour party.

    Also the application is including a hotel so why are you supporting it? If you think it is not viable?

    • how is the political gain for us ?? Still do not get it and you need to explain that one to me.

      It is up to others to think it is viable, if it gets the hall restored that is the main concern, if someone makes money from that, then fine.

      • actually the easy political gain is to so no to this. It could win us a few votes on Park Farm, claim the nasty Tories wish to concrete over the park. However the plans are clearly not that and whilst I always had concerns at the volume of building these plans are moderate and sensible.

        Hence as I said I personally agree with Adrian Andrew on this case and if I was still active locally, how do we gain from a stance like that ??

        So come on Paul be sensible and this has nothing to do with politics (for once) and is about the best for the land and the area.

      • This is denigrating into a political tit for tat, Paul neither Steve or Ian so far as I know have stood for councillor on this ward.

        so can we get back on topic instead of trying to score none existent points just because you do not have any practical solutions to the problems that the residents of netherhall have

  50. Jim, I have not descended into any political tit for tat, I speak alone for myself and I support these plans as they stand. I have posted pieces on this site about Nether Hall and back exactly what has been said about the area there.

    The way residents have been treated there is awful and was sadly inevitable until the future of the hall could be resolved.

    I hope someone organises a public debate about this and work permitting I will attend.

    • I also would happily attend any meetings work permitting where I will stand up for some development, but can I ask did bovis not put a yealy levey on all properties for the matance the park land as this was part of the original planning application that was approved by walsall council. if this clause is still in place the residents of netherhall may have to foot the bill for the upkeep and restiration of the park land including the lakes

  51. Hi Jim, i have stood in Pheasey/Park Farm and Orchard Hills as the UKIP candidate in Local Council Elections. Last time out in 2011 i received approx 630 votes, a shade under 20% of the total vote cast.

  52. So it is not political then, let us draw the line in the sand and forget the politics, incidentally it was not myself that made it political in the first place and i simply went along with the nature of it. I think the nature of a few of us here means we are easily led in to a political conversation. Still, this is really a time to unite and try to come up with ways to save peoples misery if we can.

    My point all along has been ignored on here and it is why build more or even think about building more before the problems are sorted out first?

    Can no one answer that at all?

    Let me make it more simple, perhaps someone can then answer my question …

    If there was a burst gas main in the street and you were a registered gas installer would you first:

    A: fit a cooker in No27 for Miss Green who is hungry
    B: Fix the leak
    C: Go down the Cat & Fiddle for a beer


    I personally would fix the gas leak, go down the pub and invite Miss Green to join me for dinner, (but please do not tell the wife).

    But seriously, we should concentrate on sorting the problems out before adding to them is all i am saying. Who knows, we may be in better financial times by the time the problems are sorted out and there may be good reason for someone to renovate the hall.

    My basis for my stance is this:

    What will more houses achieve in the fight the police are having stopping these problems? Will new houses help them deal with the asbo problems?


    Will more houses help the Council to deal with these asbo problems?


    The cause of the problem WILL NOT BE SOLVED BY MORE HOUSES

    Solve the initial problem then look at the secondary problem which is the hall and park.

  53. But the homes will make the developers richer and the council tax is useful, if you think it will stop at 58 you are dreaming, owners, developers nor our wonderful absentee Councillors care about anti social behaviour, green spaces or environment , in our area, just profit folks. You all need a reality check! Remember before Nether Hall came into existence anyone?

  54. Hi Paul, Hi DJ, Excellent and very pertinent points raised and made by both of you; And there are without doubt many, many of our good friends, family and neighbours in Nether Hall, Pheasey, Orchard Hills and Park Farm who will share both your (and my) views/concerns regarding this appalling planning application and intention to further desecrate Great Barr Park.

  55. I am a resident on Netherhall.

    Just wanted to respond to comment by Martin.

    Yes – we do have maintenance charge that residents have to pay annually. I believe every property pays the same value however there was a little dispute regarding this.

    The maintenance charge is not as yet being paid because Bovis are still to fulfil and provide all public spaces required.

    The money paid by the residents however is only for the upkeep of the land / open areas that are owned by Bovis.

    The hall, lake and grounds in private ownership are not included in this therefore the upkeep of these will not be covered. I believe the proposed houses will also have a similar clause if they were to go ahead because upkeep of the land would also be required. I believe the owners of the hall have put a proposa together for the same company to manage areas jointly although Bovis have not as far as I am aware been very forthcoming.

    I think from the meeting organised it is fair to say that many of the residents on Netherhall are very unhappy with the way in which Bovis have dealt with us in terms of aftercare however we also feel that we have been mis sold our properties given that we were told we would have access to lake and other grounds which in fact we will not do. This is a side issue that I feel many will indeed take up with Bovis if in fact we don’t as a group.

    I can see that this is obviously a very emotive subject given the posts from many people. I think it is a shame that there are some people that are very forthcoming when rejecting any plans put forward however not forthcoming at all when suggesting alternatives.

    I personally feel that the hall is a significant part of Great Barr history and is currently in such a sorry state that I can’t see it being around for all that much longer. It would be nice to be able to find a proposal whereby the hall is restored and saved for people to enjoy in the future.

    In life we can not always get everything we want therefore in these situation there has to be compromise by all parties. A simple stubborn no is surely how we would expect a child to act. If everyone could work together then maybe a solution could be found that would be more satisfactory to all parties rather than beneficial to one and not the other.

    I personally for example can not see how the hall can be saved without raising equity. This I can not see can be done without building some properties therefore maybe we should concentrate on how many properties, where and how to lessen the impact on the land.

  56. Another day, and yet another individual claiming to be a local resident, not giving their name and surprise, surprise supporting the building of more housing in Great Barr Park. There are plenty of actual local residents here who are not interested in compromise, just interested in preventing even one more property from being erected in the park and the wider green belt area around Pheasey/Park Farm.

    • First of all I AM an actual resident on Netherhall as previously stated. I do not want my name posted all over the internet where I can not control who looks at the content…..potential employers and goodness knows who else regularly search people on the Internet. This does not mean I am not am actual resident.

      I would also like to point out that nowhere in my post did I say that I supported the building of more properties. I do believe that you should choose your battles however and I really do not think that this one can be won especially given the current circumstances and the cost to police etc because of the current anti social issues.

      It is clear that you have no suggestion of a way the hall and grounds can be restored and maintained therefore at the moment I think there is little other option. The council are not going to adopt or pay for the upkeep. The hall will also be restored and not just turned into apartments where the public are unable to visit etc.

      The current situation is to object to this plan which many of the groups who have been working together have stated is the best in 30 years and one it looks like they will all support.

      I don’t therefore feel that by objecting to the plans my voice will be heard as I think planning will be granted. So for me I am going to ensure that my argument is any properties should be built to lessen the impact on the environment as much as possible. I feel this is where I could make a difference.

      • Quite correct NHP, you do not have to give a name, most forums on the net do not require this. In fact the dismissal of your points because you do not give a real name is arrogant.

        As to yoyu points it is the reluctant conclusion a lot have come to and the naysayers you will note totally refuse to engage into the discussion about the future of the hall.

        There is no alternative to using house building to restore the hall and the naysayers refuse to accept the obvious conclusion to their argument is that the hall and land is left to nature and thugs.

  57. I echo Steves comment here.

    I will discount your comment on here as you could be any 1 of the people already spouting the same views which is very counter productive in the discussion if it so, as it just makes for unbalanced views and it is impossible to get a true reading of feelings. No one is going to hold against you speaking out, whoever you are as a resident as you claim to be so why hide behind a sydonym?. Anonymous names could be the CEO of Bovis or anyone, who knows?

    Yet again, i ask even yourself “NHP resident”, why should we add more people to the misery? Should we not be campaigning for the problems to be sorted out before we add more people to the misery or do you advocate more resident’s makes it more likely to get it sorted out?

    Perhaps your best plan there as residents is to picket the sales office and make sure everyone interested in buying knows what they are buying in to? That may wake Bovis up to be a little more proactive in the search for a remedy to the troubles.

    Sort the problems before even considering more houses. I do not think this is an unreasonable view.

    Yet again, will someone please let us know when the public meeting is, we have been digging with no luck?

    • Hi Paul,

      Have explained my reasoning for not wishing to post under my name above.

      I think that the building of more properties will reduce the anti social issues that are currently being experienced…..for example the 4 x 4 use of the land. Entrance to this land from the top of our estate has been made more challenging. The individuals therefore obtained access from Chapel Lane. If this was to be a small gated development then access would not be obtained etc.

      Following our residents meeting last month we have now formed a residents committee which has already met in order to deal with issues.

      Bovis have been informed however that we will picket the sales office, all place signs in our gardens etc advising people not to purchase along with the possibility of taking joint legal action against them.

      Bovis were asked to send someone in authority and with decision making ability to our residents meeting. They did not do this however comments were noted and should now have been fed back to Bovis. I believe that Bovis are now in the process of arranging a further meeting. They have also commenced work on the walled garden.

      Bovis are now aware that we have the means and motivation to communicate and act as a group. They were able to see the turnout of residents after fairly short notice so hopefully can now see they are not just able to fob the individual off!

      • Ps
        Thanks Ian…. that is what I am trying to say.

        If I could see an alternative to house building then I would totally support however I can not see another way.

  58. nor can I NHP, if the land was in public hands then the debate is different.

    Given the issues with Bovis I have heard over the years I am surprised no one has took them to court.

  59. Oh BTW in the same political ward but not on Pheasey there has been a long debate about development at the Three Crowns pub and school. The debate there is different and clear that no building at all should be allowed other than what is there. However they do not face the same problems as are faced at Gt Barr Hall

  60. Hi Ian, It is not at all arrogant to question the validity of any individual claiming to be a local resident(s) right to engage in a discussion that should exclusively be the preserve of actual local residents such as yourself, Paul and myself: And whether NHP is genuinely a local resident or not, he/she did state that they supported the building of yet more bloody houses in Great Barr Park and has continued to do so on subsequent posts!!!!!!

  61. Steve

    I have explained my reasons why I have chosen not to use my name on this thread which by the way I am fully entitled to do. If I did use my name however then please advise how you would know that I was a resident and had not just made a name up.

    The issue here is that I do not share your viewpoint. I quite clearly stated that I would whole heartedly support any proposal whereby houses would not have to be built in order to fund the preservation of the site yet I still have not been offered such a proposal.

    Instead of arguing about what name I use please feel free to offer such a propsal for me to support and I wilp happily object to the one currently on offer. If I need to invite you to my house and show you my bloody council tax bill in order to prove I am a resident to enable us to move on from this discussion then please I am more thab happy to do so! I feel I would not have to justify myself if I shared your point of view!!

  62. As Paul and myself have pointed out on previous occasions the answer to stopping anti-social behaviour is not to build more houses; it is to have the police and courts crack down hard on the individuals involved. Actually doing what they’re paid to do by local taxpayers to the full satisfaction of all decent law abiding residents.

  63. Hi NHP, we must agree to disagree. As the UKIP candidate in the last local election held in the Pheasey/Park Farm/Orchard Hills Ward i have a copy of the full local electoral register issued to me by the Electoral Services Office, so if you’ve resided in the ward for longer than 18 months the chances are i’d be able to confirm whether or not you’re a genuine local resident or not.

    • and if he/she has not registered as a voter ?

      No one on any forum is expected top reveal their names but when they ask those who have stood for election questions they should expect better than to be patronised.

      you Steve still refuse to this day to explain how you would rescue Great Barr Hall and the Park land and until you do no one would take you serious. At least Paul has said he will think of a plan and I await that one with interest.

      BTW as admin I get to see all the IP’s of those posting …

      • Ian

        I think Steve has made clear his position on how the hall is to be restored.

        we will have to await and see whether it’s the chief constable or local jp that lays the first brick.

        For clarity you will have access to my ip and email add please feel free to email me I can scan a copy of a bill to show you my credentials.

  64. Hi Ian, re-read my previous posting; i did include the proviso ‘the chances are i’d be able to confirm’; and not state that i definitely would be able to. The approx 630 people, almost 20% of those who voted for me obviously didn’t feel ‘patronised’; and i’m betting that all of those individuals and more will support my stance of opposing the dumping of yet another 58 houses inside Great Barr Park.

  65. NHP resident, i hear what you are saying and understand your reasons for anonymity, however, it does make your comments carry less weight on a forum as people will always wonder who you really are and consider your motives with unsurity.

    Bovis sending an understudy just shows their contempt for the good people of NHP and how much they really care. Well done to you guys for the threats to picket and erect signs, that should shake them up a little one would hope.

    Lets us look at the issues though, more houses will not solve the issue and as i have said many times, just add more to the suffering. You say a small gated estate chapel lane end of the park. I say for now, why not the council put in a gate and fencing to stop them entering, there is really no difference. Although i guess that they will get in through the fields in one way or another even then.

    Thus, gates will not really work if you ask me. Also the 4×4 problem is, from what i hear is only part of the troubles, the gates or houses will not stop these other problems, it may even add to them!

    Yes i may be a naysayer as Ian puts it, but i have answers to support why i am saying nay, these reasons seem to be ignored constantly. Perhaps one could say, to coin a phrase used first not by me, this is what we would expect from a child when another does not agree with them!

    How will more houses help the police to solve the issues? They are very very unlikely to get anymore money from the new houses. Perhaps the parents of these thugs, yobbos and youths should play some part in helping to solve the problems.

    Then we go on to the hall (and yes Ian, i am prepared to discuss the hall as it happens, although, if you chose to take notice of all my comments you would see that anyway!), well, how on earth can anyone, even if they use a calculator, manage to get 58 houses to pay for the hall, park and lakes to be restored?

    Well, lets do some simple maths, working on the basis that the houses sell for £200,000, that is a sum total on the one column of £11.6 million. On the other column we have the cost of the land, bricks, mortar and other materials, labour costs, sales and marketing costs and the list goes on, that will amount to how much? Let us pick a figure from the air and say half of the retail value (although i would suggest it is more), meaning the builder now has around £6 million. Take out their profits what would it leave, no where near enough to cover the costs of the renovation work needed!

    Then of course, let us say that the hall, lake and park can be restored for this paltry sum(which obviously it cannot), where will all the traffic be coming in to it from? Not from Chapel Lane i don’t suppose as that will be gated, so it has to come in from the other end. This then means there will be a 24 hour flow of traffic in and out of the hotel leisure conference coming through the existing estate. Now from what i can see, the only way in to the hall will be straight through the middle, how good will that be for children’s road safety on the estate, how will the noise of lorries trundling through the estate go down? The laundry lorries will probably be traveling there in the early hours – NICE.

    Add to all this, i do not believe that any house building firm would ever carry through with doing the restoration work after the houses. Maybe if they were prepared or forced to do the restoration before the houses were built, just maybe i would agree.

    This is why i say NAY.

    Personally for me, keep the front and the back separate and use the chapel lane entrance for the hall and park. There will be a way to do so, just needs someone to come up with the right idea and plan. The lakes must have value and along with the hall and park, there just has to be a plan!

    • Ian why have you not written about Saturdays consultation a lot of the above was raised.. perhaps by Paul?

      • Please give me a clue what you are saying PK, where could it have been me saying what please? I feel there is something i am missing here.

      • Paul I was asking Ian why he had not written about Saturdays consultation event for netherhall residents by the owners of great Barr hall. A lot of what you raised above was raised by local residents. As surprising as it may sound we all share same concerns!

  66. OK Paul, first thing this is all private land, no good asking for the council to do anything, the roads remeber are still unadopted.

    As for the houses paying for it, well looking at the plans I am guessing the min price of each house will be £400K.

    So lets say after builder and developer profit that leaves £100K per house profit to rebuild the hall that is £6M and then a partner for the hall can contribute to make up the reported cost of £10M to rebuild the place.

    If you say no house building at all then Paul explain how the funding gap of say £6M can be closed ?

    • My my Ian, you choose to answer a direct question, shame it was not the 1 asked all along! Still beggars cannot etc …

      Well, if it was as simple as putting a fence up, i would be asking Bovis to gain permission and do so, if they refused, i would be dipping in my own pocket and asking other residents to do so too. Peace and quiet would be worth it for myself, maybe unreasonable to have to do so but hey ho! In reality, the authority’s should be dealing with this and not leaving it to the locals (victims) to deal with.

      Now, if these houses are to be £400k where on earth are they going to find buyers from? 58 nearly half a million pound houses in an estate on the edge of a badly managed area as it is? Never going to happen, oh and if Bovis (or any other builder) were making £100k out of each one then they are bucking the trend when it comes to profits by the way, as 25% nett is pretty unattainable in business at present. Then of course there is their own profit, now they will not be giving all their profit away to make the restoration project happening now will they?

      Let us base the plan on a £10 rebuild cost, this figure is peanuts compared to the value of the sort of complex on offer here. How much value would you put on a complex of this kind with the position it could hold if it is based on the land that is there for it without houses on it?

      We are talking luxury hotel complex in park grounds with a lake, entrance on a country lane past a large well tended local church. Surely that is worth more than £10 million?

      The funding is not funding but an investment and there must be an investment proposal there somewhere awaiting fruition.

      Not a hospitality expert so not sure but i would have thought so.

  67. Thanks PK, i knew there was something happening this saturday and asked numerous times with no answer. Seems Ian did not know either, however, i am sure someone on here must have known. I am glad someone was asking the sort of questions that i would have done!

    What were the answers by the way? That would be interesting.

    Once again thanks PK.

    • Paul

      The event was well attended when I arrived there was well over 70 odd neighhors present as well as the local councillors and the vicar!

      Residents asked how under 60 houses would pay for restoration and profit… the answer by the architects and owners was that over 100 houses would be needed to make profit. The owners will be making a loss and legally bound to Carry out works… they are prepared to make a loss due to desire to live and manage the estate. The owners made clear that they want the least number of houses possible whilst still making the project achievable.

      Questions about local schools was asked and the owners said majority of their children would remain at existing schools. Most said they had private medical insurance…

      The question was asked – how do we no owners will not build their houses and fail to carry out works to the hall.. the owners of great Barr said they would not be building their own houses until last which was very reassuring..

      We were told that the location for proposed housing had been designed to have least impact on landscape and hall.

      In terms of access we were told that the hall and houses would be accessed via gates through chapel lane. There would be no direct access via our estate.

      Any specific questions please ask

      • PK, thank you kindly for taking the time to post this.

        I only wish i had known where and when the meeting was. Seems either the owners did not know about our conversation on here or they was hoping that the likes of Steve and I were not there.

        It is sounding better but still a little worrying. They say their houses will not be built until the hall etc is restored, is this the royal theirs or theirs as in the last couple of the 58 i wonder?

        Is there another meeting scheduled?

        Now, if they think 58 houses will finance the project i am certain that a leisure or hotel chain would easily be able to make this project happen too, without the need for houses, but that is my personal view as a naysayer to houses. I can always live in hope, but never say never.

  68. you stick high quality high priced houses in woodland, next to an accessible lake but still close to a motorway junction and my guess is that they would sold before a single one is built.

    As for your assertion someone can make it work without the housing how come for two decades or more no one came forward ?

    In all this time it has been ready and the reason is simple, no hotel would make the cash needed without having a significant amount of cash given to them to help prepare the way.

  69. Even next to an existing estate where people are picketing the builders and having signs up in their gardens warning of the problems?

    Perhaps it is in the wrong peoples hands?

    It is hardly likely that 58 houses will make the shortfall needed so we are at loggerheads here Ian apparently.

    … and like Bovis are going to build a hotel and sell it at a loss? Think not!!!

    • this is nothing to do with Bovis Paul, it is a group of local businessmen who brought the land for a song after some real dodgy stuff went on with the previous owners (a trust).

      • So Ian Bovis sorting the current situation out on NHP and the new houses are a different subject entirely and as i have been saying all along, we should not subject the two to the same discussion.

        I still advocate, even in light of the above post by PK that until the troubles are solved there should be no more houses. Although, if i had been at the meeting mentioned i may have been of another mind!

        Seems this meeting has been a bit of a revelation!

  70. I dont mix up Bovis and Great Barr Hall, never have.

    There is no question development of Great Barr hall will have a beneficial reaction on NHP but I want the hall and gardens saved above all.

    Now as to the meeting the fact someone asked a question about the owners have Private health insurance indicates to me some of the questions misses the mark. Why was this meeting not an open one for all ?

    • We have to beg to differ on this being in tandem i guess, i also agree in part it is hand in hand but still would demand the problem be solved before possibly adding to it.

      As for the meeting, it is a shame it was not made known on here, it was not at Collingwood sat aft though as i checked for that.

      PK, where was the meeting held please? Any news on a follow up meeting?

  71. Ahhhh right it makes a little more sense now what people are saying. I wasn’t not aware that people did not know about the meeting and that the hall was not under ownership of Bovis.

    I also have to say that the new owners of Great Barr hall and the grounds have errected fencing, gates etc and have been working alongside the residents on NHPvin order to try and resolve the anti social behaviour on the land.

    Just to clarify a point raised earlier. There are gates on Chapel Lane however now security has been beefed up on our estate the 4×4 drivers just smashed through it. The police attended whilst they were still on site with one of the owners of the hall and did not act….for health and safety reasons etc etc.

    If Bovis were in charge of this development then I would most certainly be rejecting the planning application!!

  72. NHP Resident, i and most on here know the hall in is private hands and not owned by Bovis. Possibly i muddied the waters a little on this fact by a misworded couple of posts and i apologise for that.

    Please please keep us in the loop if there is to be another meeting.

    As for the police taking no action, well that is appalling really, but understandable in today’s day and age. I guess they have no remit on private land over a quad, motorbike or 4×4 that is road legal. Guess it remains a civil affair.

    It is so frustrating that the authorities cannot remedy these problems, it annoys me so much!

    Seems like security has to be stepped up even more.

    • Yep Bovis have additional security on now at weekends and they seem to be working well alongside the hall security guards. I believe the guards at the hall have been changed too.

      The Police did attend our residents meeting and said they would always respond when our local team are on however when they aren’t basically we will be left to fend for ourselves….or that was the impression we were given.

      The guard at Great Barr hall was beaten up the other week and the police did not attend until 4pm the following day!

  73. “The GUARD at the hall” …

    Now that is frightening … 1 guard for all that expanse on his own.

    Takes me back to the time i had to guard Chester racecourse the night before the Cheshire Cup (sponsored by the Cheshire Regiment) with 4 TA soldiers, 1 of whom was an 18 year old girl and all we had was 2 handles – pick axe and 2 shovels – folding. This was at the time when the Cheshire Regt was based in Northern Ireland and PIRA was active on the mainland (around the time they tried to detonate a pylon on the M6 near Walsall.

    Quite impossible a task and ridiculous to expect it to be done by such a fruitless quantity.

    Seriously though, more needs to be done.

  74. Paul, myself and other local residents visited local venues such as the Collingwood Centre and Pheasey/Park Farm Community Centre last week attempting to find out if, where and when a public meeting regarding the application relating to Great Barr Park and Hall might be being held. Clearly not wanting large numbers of local residents from Park Farm and Pheasey at the meeting, the owners of the site held a meeting at the Holiday Inn. No wonder Ian, Paul, myself and many others were unaware that the meeting had even

  75. taken place. It’s appalling that a security guard at Great Barr Hall has been beaten up. He and our long suffering neighbours in Nether Hall are it appears being served poorly by the police; a situation that must change and quickly. When anyone is attacked, the police turning up the following day is just not good enough. I trust that the security guard was not too badly hurt? And is okay now?

    • Ok… try and answer everything.

      The security guard was not too badly hurt I do not believe. It was a group of teenagers I believe.

      When the Police attended after the 4 x 4drivers had taken the gate off they spent about 3hrs there with one of the owners. I think they were unclear about exactly what they could or could not do. There was a big operation a couple of yrs ago I think when this was a problemprpreviously as I saw a large group of police scramblers and 4 x 4’s going through the estate.

      In terms of the meeting at the Holiday Inn as far as I am aware it was an open meeting where everyone could attend and in fact they attended our residents meeting to encourage everyone to do so. They only dropped flyers to direct residents I think – us and people at Chapel Lane etc.

      The owners agreed to post plans etc following the meeting to our facebook group. I am sure they would be willing to do the same here. I could ask if they would update this site too if you like as I have the details of one of them.

      They have been very pro-active and happy to discuss with the residents here and seem fairly passionate about what they are doing. Well that is my opinion anyhow. So…..sure they would do the same here.

      I am over 18 unfortunately so if you let me know how I can send a private message on here then I will let you know my name so you can confirm I am a local resident. I can understand why you are skeptical so happy to do so tp get this resolved. My reasons for not posting under my full name still stand however.

      Is that everything?

  76. Thanks for all the information just a point of concern and two questions.

    On the prompting of a previous comment looked I have looked at the lakes survey done by Bovs on the original application when they were looking too bullied on the entire park. There are some very alarming conclusions and costs of repair it appears that the cost for restoring the hall is dwarfed by cost of the work that is need on the lakes. The dam is in danger of flailing and needs both lakes to be drained and dam rebuilt.

    So if I was a resident of Nether Hall I defiantly would not want to enter into the joint maintenance of the land as I think this was the main reason why boves only went ahead on the old hospital site.

    Because of this cost I am surprised that there is no mention of the lakes and a cost breakdown at the works required in the new development, cynical me wonders if this is on purpose as once the present land owners are gone it would be up to the local residents and the maintenance to Foot the cost

    Is it possible to have access to the facebook page or can I get the contact details of who is organising thee meetings

    I still have all the old applications and the documents from the public enquiery if anyone wants to have a look / copy

  77. Hi NHP, i’m pleased to hear that the security guard wasn’t too badly hurt. The large scale police operation you refer to occurred directly after the last couple of very heated public meetings took place following a serious and prolonged outbreak of anti-social behaviour across Pheasey/Park Farm, coupled with ongoing problems with 4×4, quad and motor cyclists tearing around Great Barr Park. Matters were bought to a head by an angry local resident compiling, printing and delivering to every home in Park Farm what a

  78. (Park Farm and Pheasey) what appeared to be a very convincing leaflet from Walsall Police informing residents of a public meeting being held to address widespread concerns regarding anti-social behaviour. Local residents packed out a meeting that to my view not too happy local police officers and Local Councillors chaired, where they were on the receiving end of a very hostile reception from a very cheesed off body of homeowners. Following a second no less angry meeting and after the names

    • Ha…..this sounds very like what happened at the Netherhall meeting!! Police and Bovis received a lot of criticism.

      @Martin – will not be joint contract but same contractors will be used…or at least that os what is being propsed. Netherhall residents do not get use of the land although Bovis told us all this was the case when we purchased our homes!

      The land owners are planning to actually live on their development and have houses situated around the lake from what was said at the meeting therefore I would assume they would want the repairs to the dam to be done correctly.

  79. of the youths fermenting most of the trouble had been passed on, action was taken, the ringleaders dealt with and the camp followers persuaded to melt away. There are still problems with anti-social behaviour from time to time, but it’s not anywhere near the scale of 2 to 3 years ago. Faced with similar problems in Nether Hall and it appears a lack of interest from the police, Bovis Homes, Local Council etc; our neighbours could take a more pro-active line, just as that one local resident did by orchestrating a public meetin

  80. g a couple of years back. Or why not contact our excellent very independent local newspaper the Express & Star? – The editorial staff there would i’m sure be very interested indeed to hear from angry and frustrated Nether Hall residents and the serious problems they are experiencing from groups of anti-social youths. Property developers, the police, housing associations, Local Council’s and local politicians naturally dislike negative publicity; and i’m certain they would be a good deal more responsive to the c

  81. Like many local residents across Pheasey/Park Farm and Orchard Hills, my family are members of the local Neighbourhood Watch group, kickstarted again around three or so years ago by excellent and hard working local man, Alan Crunden. Alan is always looking to sign up new members/street coordinators to the group. I’m not sure how many members there are at present amongst our good neighbours in Nether Hall Park; but Alan and other members would be very pleased indeed to see and meet any non-members

  82. interested in joining at the next meeting of the group at 6.30pm, at Beacon Church, on the junctions of Collingwood Drive and Hillingford Avenue, on Tuesday 19th November. Alternatively, you can call Alan on 01922-621158. Alan always strives to push the local police and Councillors to resolve problems relating to criminal activity and anti-social behaviour to the hopeful satisfaction of local residents. It would be of benefit to all of us here in my opinion if every home in Park Farm, Nether Hall Park, Pheasey and

  83. Orchard Hills were signed up to the Neighbourhood Watch group. – NHP, i’d be very surprised after reading your recent posts if you were not a genuinely local resident!!

    • I will be sure to pass the details of Alan to the residents committee who are next meeting on 13th.

      Thanks for the suggestion. We have a resident with a good media connection who has already been consulted. Bovis are aware this is the next step. Bovis have offered another meeting date therefore we are awaiting this first.

      I am indeed a local resident and can assure you that I do genuinely want the best for the local area and for the hall and land to be maintained.

  84. Hi NHP, excellent. I look forward to hopefully meeting yourself and some of your neighbours at the next Neighbourhood Watch meeting in ten days time. It’s always best to arrive before 6.30 as the outer doors are occasionally locked then and it’s usually difficult to attract the attention of anyone inside to come and re-open them.

  85. Hello again NHP, i’ve just called Alan; he will be very pleased to see yourself and other Nether Hall Park residents at the next meeting.

    • I don’t know if I will be able to make it personally as I have quite a young baby although I might pop along to say hi quickly. My husband will come along though I am sure.

      I will post on the residents page – sure people will come along 🙂

  86. Hi NHP, That sounds very encouraging indeed. Let’s hope that residents from every part of our suburb working together with the police, Local Councillors and Bovis, can end the current serious anti-social issues in Nether Hall Park and Great Barr Park. If any of our fellow Staffordians and good neighbours from Coronation Road and Chapel Lane in West Bromwich East are following this blog and are minded to set up a Neighbourhood

    • Pretty sure the Chapel Lane residents have concerns. I believe they have also had contact with the new owners of the hall and land because I think it was them that alerted the owners to the gate being damaged by the 4×4 users.

      I think the Police did attend NHP with riot vans on halloween night when a large group (20-30 I think) were congregating our side of the lake. They were escorted from the estate.

      I have not seen any posts about large groups since so fingers crossed!

      NHP residents on facebook have now been invited to meeting on 19th. Not all residents are on Facebook however we encouraged all residents to join on the flyers we distributed giving details of residents meeting.

  87. Watch group then please do come along to the meeting, we would be very pleased to see you there. Our suburbs are generally peaceful and great places to live, populated by very decent, responsible and hard working citizens. Let’s make sure the few idiots out there don’t succeed in spoiling things for the many.

  88. Hi NHP, do residents in Nether Hall Park have a good idea where exactly this group of 20 to 30 youths actually live? Do any of them reside outside Nether Hall for example? The serious problems with anti-social behaviour in Park Farm and Pheasey that occurred a couple of years ago only began to be addressed when certain names (and addresses) were passed on to the relevent authorities.

    • Pretty sure they are from NHP.

      Just so I can confirm is it a public Neighbourhood Watch meeting or just for representatives?

      • Sorry that should have said NOT from NHP. I think they might be coming from the Pheasey estate as I think one of our residents knows who a few kids from the group are.

  89. Hi NHP, it’s a public Neighbourhood Watch meeting, all local residents are welcome. If these youths are making there way into Nether Hall from this side of the suburb through the path off Park Farm Road, they will no doubt be from Park Farm as well as Pheasey.

  90. The 70 or so residents from Nether Hall Park/Chapel Lane and Coronation Road who attended the meeting at the Holiday Inn last Saturday, must have been somewhat disenchanted to say the least by the poor answers to residents questions from the ‘current’ owners of Great Barr Hall and a part of the parkland. For example they say that they will need to build at least 100 houses to make any profit (that’s 100 houses too many) – and access to any new housing would be via the already very busy Chapel Lane. Martin

  91. has also raised the issue of clearly very costly restoration work being needed to the dam on the lakes in the park.

    • I personally did not make the meeting although I intended to go. The feedbavk though I have to say does seem pretty positive.

      I don’t think the developers are in it to make profit from the property they will build. I think that is just to partly finance the restoration

      I know that they plan to live on site so from what I remember there is 10 of them so that will be 10 of the houses taken

      • the more I hear at what was said at this meeting the more I am starting to become skeptical. Only because the new owners are wonderful philanthropists if this is all true.

        We are talking millions of £’s of work here, we are talking limited number of housing of which 10 or so will in effect not be sold and then all the work on the lake as well.

        I applaud the new owners on all this, it is wonderful ….

        However in this day and age, I have to have ask do people really want to make millions of pounds of losses ??

        Because that is what we are talking about.

    • Hi Steve the architects talked quite a bit about the works needed to the lakes. I was present and standing with a group that included our local vicar and we were told that flood specialists and the environmental agency have been involved with the application from the start. The proposals include repairs to the dam to prevent queslet road flooding.

      We were also told that unless this work is carried out soon that the lakes would dry up due to Silt.

  92. Ian, i am pleased to see that you are a man of reason and open minded enough to be able to change your outlook on something. A little like myself really.

    Seems to me that these 10 people can make money from the project once it is up and running but do not have the funding, nor can they raise the capital to do so. So now they are resorting to adding houses to the plan to make their dreams become a reality!

    Sounds like there dream includes a nice big posh house in a park with a small walk to work.

    Now i do not see them as philanthropists, simply people who want something that they cannot afford!

    My point now is this, if they can see the complex making profit once it is built and up and running then surely there is a plan out there somewhere that would be suitable for a company that can afford to do it without blighting the park with more houses. All we need to do is find the right firm, plan and prize the hall and land off these people who are chasing a pipe ream they cannot afford!

    I would love to own WBA FC and i could if i knocked the Hawthorns down, built houses there and had them sharing a ground with the vile. The profits from my little plan would pay for the club and all would be rosy for me! Not that the fans and the club would see the benefits, just me!

    That is a similar pipe dream and would be WRONG! Just like this plan is.

    • Paul

      Very good points. I think my preference would be for a private company to come along and carry out all the work to the hall and landscape, lakes without building ANY houses.

      Anyone got any ideas for suitable firms? What about another hospital like a private one?

      Do we no if the site has been properly marketed in the past to try and find firms?

      Unless there is a real alternative I feel we really are getting second best thing.

      • to answer that PK you need to look at the long history of the place. It is documented on this site but the last owners were a trust who promised many things and delivered nowt and it just got worse and worse, I suspect their plans were to let it totally go so they could build housing and not bother with the hall.

        It has been up for sale twice recently, once failed to get the price of £1.5m I think and then the now owners brought it for half of that.

        No private company would want it as you need housing and more than 100 units as mentioned to make a profit.

        To Paul, no I have not changed my mind on these plans, I agree with them but boy you have to have faith in no more housing being built and owners willing to make a loss …

        The problem is that under the new planning guidelines it is almost impossible to stop building on there just as it was in 2000 because the land was already built on (ask the people about three crowns school).

        So a lot is faith .. and the new owners are consulting and talking far more than Bovis or any other previous owners did.

  93. It took long enough to find a buyer…..can’t see you being able to convince them to sell and someone else to purchase.

    Why did nobody purchase before if it was going to be that easy to restore etc

    • Fair points.. but what about if the government made a compulsary purchase could that not work? That way owners would be forced to sell and government could find a buyer?

  94. Ian,

    Having faith in the new owners is a risky strategy as if it goes wrong we are doomed to more houses and the same scenario again in a few years, when there will be even less chance of the hall being saved, let alone the park.

    Would you be happy to see the hall park and lakes sorted without houses or are you committed to supporting more houses? I do hope and presume it is the first option.


    I would imagine that the times were never right, most people capable of the project were on the down rather than up and quite possibly not enough marketing was done.

    Never ever surrender, never give up hope …


    I guess if there was a buyer found who could guarantee a project without houses that the council would be able to compulsory purchase on the grounds of the lakes bursting let alone the troubles and the crumbling hall and make a quick sale to the proper person.

    Perhaps we should all try to think of what would suit the site and whom would possibly suit whatever that is.

    My money is on a health spa and someone like Duncan Bannatyne , wish i knew him to be able to mention it in passing.

    • I just can’t see it happening Paul which is the problem and even if it did then these things take time……time that I am not sure the hall has.

      I guess maybe I am putting my faith in them that they will do as they say however they have certainly been quite proactive in the dealings I have had with them so far and I felt that they seemed very passionate about restoring the hall etc. They also seem to have worked fairly hard on making a proposal all committees etc are happy with.

      I obviously can not guarantee that they will do what they say they are going to and that I am correct.

    • Paul

      Great comments. Ian I hope you toast would back an option without houses in preference to what we have now…

      I am a member of bannatynes on Chester road. They would not be interested in this site. In my opinion a gym would not work. They would never be able to make their money back and require the budget they probably normally allocate to 20 gyms for one. Ongoing you would probably need more than half the gyms income to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the estate.

      I don’t think it could ever be converted into a residential house again. For the millions required you could probably by a whole street on the four oaks estate?

      What about a large retail park? Like the fort? It has good transport links?

  95. Oh Crikey, NO. Not a shopping centre …

    Give me houses first before a shopping centre.

    I was thinking Spa, health club, resort more than a gym by the way

  96. See, there are plenty of ideas, some better than others , AHEM

    I remember when people would pay a fortune for the chance to fish the lakes but were not allowed unless they were employees.

    The lakes, fishing, glamping a plan is coming together slowly.

    Needs to be something that will not have thousands of people attending i guess.

  97. Thanks PK, beat me too it

    Come on Ian, we all must surely want a good end with the least disturbance possible?

  98. Hello everyone; I’m in agreement with Ian and Paul. The more i hear about this planning application the more sceptical i become. With regard to a suitable location for the Vile to ground share Paul, how about Atlantis, Troy, Hades even? Easter Island perhaps? – Getting back to a very pressing local problem; At the neighbourhood watch meeting on Tuesday the 19th, it might

    • be an idea to apply for a Dispersal Order to be put in place by Walsall Council/Walsall Police in Nether Hall Park. We’ve had these at the shops on Beacon Road; and Collingwood Drive/Hillingford Avenue in the not too distant past; i had the impression they appeared to work well enough.

      • I think this is worth looking into. However I feel more needs should be done by our neighbours on other side as as far as I understand it majority of asbos are coming from over their?

        We have spent a substantial sum of money buying our house and last thing I would like to see is notices signs etc stating no drinking or dispersal area.. I am sure other residents would have similar reswrvations.

  99. Hi PK, if, as yourself and NHP have intimated, it does turn out that this crowd of 20 to 30 youths making peoples lives a misery in Nether Hall Park, hail from Park Farm and Pheasey, i agree with you that the parents of these teenagers need to be made aware of the problems their children are causing and bring a halt to it. Homeowners in Park Farm and Pheasey were not exactly thrilled at having dispersal notices put up, but the measure seemed to be of use despite reservations from many local people.

    • Agree with PK comments.

      I think one of the residents on the estate knows who some or them are and have told the relevant parents.

  100. Is there any update on when and where the next meeting will take place ? as I would like to attended


  101. Why are we in this position when Arden Andres leaflet Delivered in Walsall South on Saturday, 07 Apr, 2012 clear stats that only people who had received English heritage approve would be allowed to rebuild the hall( paragraph 4 of the leaflet).

    “it was, and is, essential that any potential purchasers planners for four English Heritage effectively final say on this great star listed building and the associated Park land”

    obviously English Heritage must approve this new development as per councillor Andrews leaflet (do not believe this is as happened) or the councillor is playing games with us the residents to try and get our votes.

  102. Cheers Ian – and English Heritage have been involved all the way along, I organised the original meeting with planning officers, English Heritage and the potential new owners for their initial conversation.

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