Great Barr Hall Development – UKIP Walsall Official Stance

As promised I would put up the different parties stance on Great Barr Hall, this is UKIP’s response. Like with the Labour one I  post this with no further comment.

UKIP LINK

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The current application that was accepted for consideration by Walsall MBC just 2 days before Christmas is subject to much discussion both in the streets and online.

Here is an excerpt from The Beacon Action Groups website:

On 23rd December 2013, a planning application was submitted to Walsall Council by BCG Lakes and Lapworth Architects. This application includes restoration works to Great Barr Hall and the construction of 57 dwellings, which will be built across the protected greenbelt and registered historic parkland that surrounds the hall and lakes, (with 38 of which proposed along Chapel Lane/Suttons Drive boundaries).

You can read more on the issue at the Beacon Action Group website.

It is UKIP policy to divert housing construction from green belt land to brown field land, UKIP are opposed to the loss of our green belt.

Therefore UKIP Walsall are completely opposed to this development being given the green light.

It is also UKIP policy to have local referendums on something as controversial as this.

Therefore UKIP Walsall ask Walsall MBC to arrange a referendum for the people of  not only Walsall, but Sandwell too before any decision is made. This development with have a detrimental effect on Sandwell residents over and above anyone else, so they must be allowed their say. Under current legislation they are unable to have a say or make a difference as their elected council members have no say over the decision to grant or refuse the permission for this application. This is wrong, when the only exit from this development will be in to Sandwell and specifically Chapel Lane.

Our official UKIP branch stance is based on the following, however, this is not an exhaustive list:

  • Chapel Lane is most certainly unable to cope with traffic now, how will it cope with an extra 57 houses, a hotel and a 500 seat conference centre?
  • Residents in Chapel Lane have spoken stating that it takes 15 minutes to get of their drive in a morning.
  • Great Barr Park is registered park land and should never be built on.
  • Great Barr Hall should be renovated in a way that reflects it past, it should not be over embellished.
  • The Chapel should be preserved as it too is part of Great Barr Hall.
  • Great Barr Park should be open to residents, this development will be gated and the only access allowed will be to residents and paying hotel guests.
    • The development does not meet recommendations by English Heritage for developments of this nature.

    UKIP are currently the only local political party to oppose this development.

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27 thoughts on “Great Barr Hall Development – UKIP Walsall Official Stance

  1. How do you guarantee public access to the private land? English Heritage have been involved in every step of the application with the Architects and Planners? What should be the geographic area for any kind of referendum? Who would pay for the referendum? Who is going to pay for Great Barr Hall to be refurbished?

    Just a few unanswered questions

  2. Hi Adrian, in answer to your questions with regard to a local referendum on the BCG Lakes/Lapworth planning application for Great Barr Park/Hall; Well, with Local and European Union Elections set to take place on Thursday 22nd May, an extra Local Referendum ballot paper could be added at very little extra cost i’d say for the citizens of the two wards that will be most affected by the proposed development.
    Although West Bromwich East residents in Chapel Lane, Coronation Road, The Grove and Merrions Close; and Walsall South residents in Nether Hall Park and also Chapel Lane will be most directly affected by the proposed development, citizens in the wider Black Country areas of Great Barr in West Bromwich East and Walsall South in the Great Barr(WBE) and Pheasey/Park Farm, (Nether Hall Park) and Orchard Hills Wards, will be affected by extra traffic on our already very busy roads; increased competition for places at local dentist and doctors surgeries; and increased competition for our already over subscribed local primary and secondary schools.
    UKIP propose taking all Green Belt planning decisions away from Local Councillors and Planning Officers and remote planning bureaucrats and Government Ministers such as, for example, John Prescott from the last, utterly useless and completely unlamented Euro-Labour Goverment; and Eric Pickles from the current FibCon ruling coalition.

    • Does that mean the hall wouldn’t be restored?
      But how would we have access?
      Could we have access if the hall wasn’t developed? Cos I would like to walk around the lakes.

      • It is private land and you can only get access if the owners allow it and they have promised more access than now.

        Steve has not answered most of Adrian’s points and the last couple of sentences are just not needed in this debate at all.

  3. ‘and increased competition for places at our already over subscribed local primary and secondary schools.’ even!!!
    And of course that should read Government above, not ‘Goverment’.

  4. Hi Ian; i’d be amazed if there wasn’t fierce competiton for places every year at each and every one of our excellent local schools; I’d be very surprised if there were not a fair number of disappointed parents and children that failed to secure much sought after places when applications are placed, year after year after year.

    • I would get the facts before you comment Steve. Pheasey has plenty of places and my understanding is Meadowview is not full, Barr Beacon is full but local pupils get the priority anyway if they go to Pheasey or Meadowview. I actually suspect that the pupils from Netherhall may go to other schools like Whitehouse Primary Q3, Perry Beaches etc.

  5. Ian, if you read Adrian’s questions you will find that Steve has answered all questions apart from one! One sentence with a question mark at the end of it was not answered, but then it was a badly placed question mark as it was not a question.

    The question that remains unanswered and the only question is the one asking who is going to refurbish GBH. A question that clearly cannot be answered by anyone as yet, however, if the owners took the development to a suitable brownfield site they could manage to make the money to refurbish and keep the park as is. They may then be able to allow the good people of Great Barr the chance to enjoy the park. Instead, local OAP’s are forced now to trespass where they once were allowed the freedom to walk their dogs, where i was free to stroll with my baby daughter in her pram, where fun was had for many.

    • Then you were trespassing,

      It has never been land for anyone to roam freely over, so where on earth do you get the idea that

      ‘OAP’s were allowed the freedom to walk their dogs’

      this is one of the biggest misconceptions about this. Just because previously there was no security does not mean people had the right either to trespass.

      Just like I did when younger …

  6. I was NOT trespassing Ian, read before you engage your fingers. I watched, not did! and previously i was allowed in the grounds as was anyone else, the only ruling i ever heard was that fishing was private. Was there signs up saying private property all those years ago?

    This may well be a misconception on your part because you jumped the fence from Park farm when really you only had to walk in through the gate.

    Anyway, in the days when i used to go in to the hospital i was still not trespassing as i was doing so to meet family from work in the hospital. So for the second time in as many weeks, please do not accuse me of trespass when i have not trespassed. For a minute then it seemed like i was reciting the Lords Prayer.

  7. Hi Ian, Meadow View and Pheasey/Park Farm primary’s have been excellent and popular schools for as long as i can remember; i just don’t buy your view that Pheasey/Park Farm has ‘plenty of places’ available. Barr Beacon School is full; and i’m sure that many local residents will also be of the opinion that Nether Hall Park, Coronation Road, Chapel Lane, The Grove, Merrions Close and Pheasey/Park Farm already have enough houses standing across our suburbs; The general area is FULL!!!!!!! We don’t want or need any more houses, vehicles or people.

  8. Its private land mate, the owners never purchased the place for the locals. Did you buy your house for locals? All land was once “green land”, many years ago. Just let them get on with it. Why dont people just let this great building get restored, and if it means building houses to fund the project, just let them. Im sure you can walk your dogs somewhere else!!!

  9. Any land, private or not is subject to regulation when a planning application is made , especially on a historically sensitive site such as Great Barr Park; Hopefully this proposal will be thrown out and the applicants can go build their houses elsewhere. Far away elsewhere.

  10. Sid, luckily there are more people with opposing views to yours and have been for many years, otherwise we would be reading our history in books and looking at only pictures now. Gratefully, we can still see our history in bricks and mortar, hopefully Great Barr Hall will be one we can continue to see in it’s original form for many years to come. Not the case if we follow your lead i might add.

    • But there is currently nothing to enjoy, is there?
      The building is non existent. We don’t have access as it’s private property.
      How could we get it rebuilt?
      From what I am reading, if these houses are not built then there is no hall forever. Am I correct in that?
      Can we do anything to rebuild ie council buy etc?

  11. Hi Local Resident, there is something to enjoy at the moment, the view of green fields and woods not blighted by houses. There is still some hall left, albeit obviously not a lot of it and no we do not have access as it is private property, even though it is registered parkland.

    There is at least one option to get it rebuilt, the owners could build their houses elsewhere on a brownfield site and use some of their profits to renovate.

    No houses does certainly not mean no hall forever, just maybe we have to wait a little longer before the right option comes along?

    The council sadly are not in a position currently to rebuild, they are having to make cuts due to various reasons such as previous over spending, government cuts and of course one could say because the council is not run as frugally as it could be. The new car for the mayor and the car park resurfacing are 2 that spring to mind, not anywhere near enough to pay for this project, however, they are just the tip of the iceberg.

    What we at UKIP Walsall are saying is that we do not believe that the green belt should be lost for any reason at all. There is always a way to do something, it just has not been found for Great Barr Hall just yet.

  12. Hi Paul, well said; great post above. It appears that there are a small minority of people living amongst us that are really not very keen on trees/woodland, green fields/farmland etc etc; and clearly prefer to have pretty well everything concreted, bricked, tarmaced, paved, slabbed, glazed and slated over. Why don’t they just sell up and move to, for example, an inner Town or City area; and leave the majority of us here to continue to enjoy the wonderful greenbelt surrounding our great suburbs.

    • Steve I find ur post very offensive. If you have an issue with what people think then maybe you should be the one that moves somewhere else and has neighbours or people amoung you with the same opinions. But we live in a democracy the last time I checked. But if that’s your view in UKIP, along with homosexuals causing floods and bad weather…then I can see why no one will take you seriously!
      I was simply asking a few questions!!! I was not expecting the response to move elsewhere!

  13. You find my last post very offensive LR. Well i find it offensive that we continue to have people on here claiming to be local residents without stating who they actually are; and while claiming (in your case for example) that ‘there is currently nothing to enjoy’ in the area.
    The only real issues i have are with individuals who want to dump yet another 57 houses in the local Green Belt.
    If you do actually reside locally and you were to ask many of my friends and neighbours what they think of this appalling application, you’d find that the majority share my views with regard to this thorny issue; And I doubt any of us will be moving any time soon.
    The last time i stood for UKIP in the Local Elections for the Pheasey/Park Farm Ward, approximately 630 residents voted for me (around 20% of voters). If you think you can do better, then reveal who you are and stand for election in May putting forward your views and let’s see how many people vote for you.
    I’ve yet to meet any member of UKIP (or anyone else for that matter) who share the views expressed by the Local Councillor suspended by the party last weekend; but if you really think that what he said is in any way a useful weapon with which to attack UKIP, then by all means continue to use it.

  14. OK the planning application has been summited can I ask have any of the objectors have summited a formal planning objection is or is this all just words to try and get your name/party in the headlines

    if you have can I have what planning points are and not just political ramblings as that is all the council will look at

    • Very good point James.

      You can only contest a planning application on planning and lawful grounds. The planning committee is there to uphold these and no amount of emotional talk will work and be dismissed.

      Previous planning applications will be ignored and they rule on the facts of the one in front of them, If an objector has proper grounds to object then this will be listened to.

      Most of all you have to take into account the recent change in planning guidance to the councils and the Local plan councils will have. I would tell any objector to study these in depth and try and find the relevant points.

  15. Hi James, i can’t speak for anyone else that objects to the BCG Lakes/Lapworth planning application, but i personally have not yet submitted a formal objection – not yet!
    I, together with many other local residents submitted formal objections to the Bovis Homes application quite a number of years ago now. That was a private objection on my part, no political ramblings included and being a private piece of correspondence of course not used to get my name, or the name of any political party into the headlines.
    Despite the Beacon Action Group advising people to read, (and hopefully re-read) the planning application and thoroughly digest the contents before submitting formal objections, no doubt a number of people have already written and posted off their objections. These are private communications and i’d be surprised if many individuals will be willing to share the contents of their letters with you or anybody else. I certainly never asked anyone that i knew who had submitted a formal objection to the Bovis proposals what they had put into those letters; and will definately not be asking any of my friends and neighbours that will be submitting formal objections to this new application to divulge the contents of their private correspondence to me.

    • So it is just political with you? When the application goes to the planning is the names of the objectors released if not then I can not say one or the other so as you are a politician I tend to err on the bad side of the option

  16. Hi James; ‘So it is just political with you? – Er, what!!!!! Perhaps you should re-read my previous post; or have you decided in your wisdom that i’m no longer allowed to send in an objection to the planning application as a local resident despite having lived in Pheasey/Park Farm for over 54 years?

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