Response to Great Barr Hall Planning Application

This is my response just sent to the planning department.

Response to Planning application 13/1567/FL 

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write in support of the above planning application for the restoration of Great Barr Hall and the enabling development of 57 homes.

It is easier in cases like this to say no and not think of the consequences of a rejection. I understand the objections of residents on the Chapel Road side, however I believe for the greater good that this application should be allowed.

The history of this land over the decades is a sorry story and we can not turn back the clock and fight the plans of the past. I will give you the positive reasons why the committee should allow this development.

–       To restore Great Barr Hall and Land to something like it’s further glory. After speaking to well known historian Peter Allen and English Heritage I am satisfied that this meets their demands. If English Heritage do not back these plans nor would I, that is the key to this development.

–       Security for the residents of Netherhall. The owners plan to live on the land and they will secure the land for their own security which can only benefit Netherhall residents who have suffered some grave ASB issues.

–       Increased access to the public. The owners have pledged to allow some open days, on private land this is more access than lawfully has been allowed before.

–       Secure the Land for the future of the whole area rather than let it fall into total disrepair. Objectors have to ask what should happen if this application fails, this is the last chance. Some objectors may welcome this but the residents of Netherhall and Park Farm would find the ASB increasing dramatically

There is a lack of trust over the Walsall Planning Department and this is understandable given the past. However in this application I believe that we the department can help allay some fears by putting the following restrictions on the development.

–       Perimeter Wall to be lowered to 5ft and where possible railings to be fitted and not brick on the Chapel Lane side

–       Access to the site for associated construction vehicles to be restricted to between 9AM and 5PM Mon-Fri. Access only to be allowed from the Birmingham Road side of Chapel Lane

–       A clear rule that states work on the Hall must be started at the same time as the enabling development. This rule to be monitored monthly and if the Planning Department feel the owners are not rebuilding the Hall the whole development to be stopped

–       A clear and precise ruling that no further homes to be built on the land, this to be agreed with English Heritage

To address the objectors fears over traffic we should note the traffic on Chapel lane at rush hour has always been bad in my 25 years of driving I used to have to drive to Stoke for work and if was on the lane any time after 07.15 the wait would be at least 30 mins. The issues of the traffic should be treated as a separate problem and along with Sandwell council I urge a review into the way the traffic is managed onto M6 Junction 7.

The design of this junction is appalling and allows little chance for access from the Chapel Lane side as there is a continual flow of traffic from the Scott Arms. The Lane cannot be closed as a rat run due to the significant impact on the already congested Beacon and Queslett Roads. If the Council can negotiate with the owners on a proper and detailed study in conjunction with Sandwell then we may get a better positive result from this.

This is the last chance to restore a significant listed building which through deliberate mismanagement has been allowed to fall into disrepair and near destruction. Some residents may not appreciate what the Hall stood for but the history of it is clear and this is the last chance for the hall.

A failure to pass this application will live the land open to criminals and affecting a large number of people on Netherhall and Park Farm estates. There would be no alternative plan and this Committee has an historic chance to at least right some of the wrongs of the past.



167 thoughts on “Response to Great Barr Hall Planning Application

  1. Common sense prevails. Yes, there are still a few issues to be completely resolved, but these are not insurmountable. It is my belief that yes, this is the last possible hope for the Hall and I cannot imagine the public outcry if the chance to renovate it were not seized. The hall would be beyond repair and demolition would be the only answer and that, in my opinion would be a disaster for Great Barr and it’s very colourful history. I refer of course to our well known master forger, Booth of Perry Barr who, allegedly was twice tried, twice hung and twice buried ! Let our local history remain and it’s amazing heritage have its profile raised at last.

    • Hi Marie, what links did Booth have to Great Barr Hall? Sorry this isn’t anything to do with the blog, I just wasn’t aware of a link… I love local history

  2. The above articles seems like a very measured and sane response to this application. Whilst I may not agree with everything(I am sure most people will disagree with something or another) I do agree that we have one last chance to get this right or future generations will not forgive us.
    I believe the biggest problem is traffic and as said this is not this projects fault it is something that has been here for years. So we need sandwell and walsall to sort this out independently of this development and look at this in a clear manner and work with the developers to find a way forward. So please let’s stop being blinkered, and please can the politicians stop electioneering and work to save this historical building.

  3. The only sane response to this application is to reject it. The hall’s historical significance has long since evaporated. If indeed you could ever call it that. The lunar society men met there back in 1780 but they also met at a number of other residences. In fact there is a celebration of the lunar men at Soho House, there is no need for another memorial to them here. What we have here is a derelict ruin which is being kept standing by scaffold so that the owners can exploit English Heritage’s enabling development policy ( build houses to raise cash to restore a historic asset) to to build their own family homes in this beautiful parkland and get a hotel business enterprise on top. This would all be perfectly in order if this was just normal privately owned land. However it isn’t. It is protected green belt and it can only be built on in special circumstances. The owners can’t build on it unless they restore the hall and use the enabling development policy to build their own homes.

    I question the integrity and cost of the restoration. It will be a new building which looks nothing like the hall did when the lunar men used to meet there. Public visiting this new building won’t even be able to appreciate its historical connections unless they look hard in the hallway. Don’t be hoodwinked into thinking we are saving our heritage for generations because it has already gone. There has been a real shift in public feeling over the last ten years and those that wish to save the hall are now in a minority. I have fought to save the hall in the past but my affection for the place has gone. The generation after me has no knowledge, affection or connection with the hall as far as I can see.

    The parkland is listed separately and it is this which we should save for our next generation not a pile of bricks. Rebuilding the hall (through the houses being built to pay for it) will result in much harm being done to the parkland, wildlife and habitats.

    The only sane and measured response would be on planning grounds to reject this because it does not meet the criteria for English Heritages enabling development.( I. It isn’t the minimum cost to restore the asset and 2. The community does not receive anything in exchange for giving up the green belt. Dialogue should then be held with key stakeholders on developing a way forward to restore the parkland with consideration given to possible smaller enabling development to fund it.

    • FACT – the majority of people in Walsall / Great Barr want Hall restored. BAG and UKIP are in minority.

      FACT – Bob Winkle and Peter Allen have attended meetings with Lapworth Architects and been told every part of the restoration current application as early as spring 2013

      FACT – All elevations are structurally sound and retained except the east elevation. which previously linked to servants wing.

      FACT – Great Barr hall despite it’s condition has been recently reassessed by English Heritage and is GRADe 11* top 4% in England

      FACT – Bob winkle has been afforded UNLIMITED access to meet Lapworth Architects and the owners since May 2012.

      FACT – Bob Winkle has never taken any other BAG members to meetings with Lapworths he informed me on Thursday and I believe not been discussing with them the contents of his meetings

      FACT – BAG have had more consultation with current owners than all previous owners over last 30 years put together. PLease correct me if I am wrong

      FACT – ALL costings have been examined by English Heritage over a 13 month period

      FACT – Walsall council will have reappointed independent experts to ‘re-examine and double check costings

      FACT – unless this is the minimum amount of enabling required the application will be rejected

      FACT – Walsall council informed me on Thursday that the owners were not according to the financial information submitted making ANY profit.

      FACT – Walsall council informed me on Thursday that the owners according to figures provided and being independently ‘re verified a 2.5 million projected loss in addition to forgoing profit allowance of 20% and the 1.1 million paid for the land and 500, 000 in planning costs to date

      hope this helps address some factual errors. Claire before responding please review the expert opinion submitted in the planning reports and check with your chairman on any of the above points would be very helpful to have him confirm that he has spent more time discussing with Lapworth and curent owners than all the time he spent with previous owners out together.

      also given how passionate you are why didn’t you meet with the owners with Bon Winkle in 2012/13 and discuss your concerns rather than waiting for November / December 2013?

  4. Also please note English Heritage may have been working with the owners and architects as one would expect due to the listed status. However English Heritage have not yet endorsed it and no one will find out their position until they respond in full to Walsall Council.

    • I asked you on twitter about this Claire and you refused to answer.

      If English Heritage back it and remember they have confirmed the owners and architects have met all their demands, then what is your position,

      See if they do not back it then it is game over, thats it all finished, application gets ripped up, it is that simple. The only reason I support this is because of English Heritage’s backing up to now.

      So do you agree if they back it then the application will be passed because everything else falls into place then.

      Do you think the owners and architects spent 18 months developing this and they did consult with interested parties, in order for EH not to back them.

      This has ALWAYS been my position

      ” If English Heritage do not back these plans nor would I, that is the key to this development.”

      I said on this blog that I would look at the plans and then make my decision, once I did and saw their support then the decision was easy.

      So come on drop the PR of your first post and answer this question,

      IF EH back the plans what is then your position is ??

      you said

      “The only sane and measured response would be on planning grounds to reject this because it does not meet the criteria for English Heritages enabling development”

      So EH says it does meet their criteria then your argument disappears.

  5. It’s amazing how BAG would peddle any insane theory just so they can protect their own personal derilict view. Previously they have pretended to care about the hall and asked for a smaller hall , now the truth comes out ” they don’t care about the hall ” , this is all about themselves and nothing else. Really the truth is these people are not reasonable people and whatever proposal was put forward they would find a flaw in it. Clearly these people are not reasonable people and will peddle whatever story they can to get what they want. For the last 18 months they have been in consultation and attended events, when really they would never have accepted any form of development.
    Ian, Claire can’t answer your question because deep down she and the rest of BAG know the answer, this is a proper worked out proposal that has done everything required to come to the final conclusion. So I say let’s get rid of this games and now support the plans and get back the park and hall for generations to come. This is our last chance!!!!!.

  6. Firstly I am posting as myself not as BAG and this is not PR it is my personal opinion as a resident of chapel lane for 30 years. At least I am prepared to put my name to it rather than hide behind some pseudonym.

    Ian, English Heritage have said they have worked with the owners but they haven’t said they support/ endorse the application.

    If English heritage do come out to support the plan as it stand then I would campaign to shape it differently because I do not agree there this is the minimum enabling development to secure the historic asset and secondly in this plan the community benefits do not outweigh the dis benefit to the community.

    In addition the consultation has been flawed. Many of the community were not informed of events and at the event itself in November no one was recording any comments. In terms of BAG being involved in meetings for 18 months I know Bob Winkle did attend a few meetings however the first time he was shown the plans with any detail with housing on was in November. Even in November the hotel was described as a 10 bedroom boutique hotel not a 600 capacity wedding venue. I as a resident or a member of BAG have not had the opportunity to shape these plans. It appears that most of the dialogue has occurred with so called self appointed expert on Great Barr Hall Peter Allen who is not a resident in Great Barr, Netherhall or even Walsall. He lives in Telford.

    Finally as as a resident not as a BAG member i stand by my previous post.

    • Claire, personal slurs on people show your true position, that is now the third person who has mentioned where Peter Allen lives and none of you claim to be BAG ??

      I was told people attended on Thursday from outside of the immediate affected area, do their views not count then ?

      so lets go back to EH. If they come out and back the plans and they have worked with the architects over the past 18 months and confirmed they got all what they wanted how do you hope to shape it further ?

      Please just admit you want no development at all and for the Hall to go, that is a far better position to be than all this sliding around.

      You will never accept housing opposite where you live and as I posted on here when the land was first sold the hall can only ever be restored with an enabling development, EH and Walsall Council accept this.

      This whole issue has been there since BAG brought the land as it was in the Great Barr Observer. At every step people were told what was happening. I was told 18 months ago who had been consulted and who has not. Are you aware the owners made contact with both MP’s and barely got an answer from one and the other one did not even reply ?

      Tom Watson claimed no contact had been made, now you agree it had been, why did Tom lie, simple someone told him that lie.

      A little story I heard. Someone complained that they had been chased off the land by security by dogs and then complained they had been walking that land along with many other residents for years, you would agree this was trespassing ? you was aware all the time this was private land ?

      Because it seems Tom Watson was not, who told him it was public land ?

      Why is now you bring up the traffic issues when they have been apparent for three decades or more ?

      When you talk about community benefit you totally ignore Netherhall in this and actually before the security it was horrible on there due to the anti social behaviour which also affected Park Farm. that land does not belong to you, it is not even in your council and stop playing games and just come out and say no development at all.

    • Claire,

      if you believe the first time Bob Winkle was shown a plan with 60 houses on with 40 around Chapel lane you have been lied to by who ever told you that was the case.

      Bon Winkle confirmed to me almost 11 months ago that 40 houses were being proposed for Chapel Lane and that he had been shown the plans at a 3 hour meeting at thr Holiday Inn with Peter Allen. clearly there must be written evidence from Lapworth to confirm? would be worth asking them Ian?

      The reality is Peter Allen and Bob Winkle were both rule 6 experts at the Bovis enquiry and that is why Bob has been consulted. since then he has of course been promoted from Secretary to Chairman of the BAG.

      I think the main thing architects can be criticised for was dedicating so much resources and time to bob winkle who CLEARLY has not been discussing the contents of his meetings with BAG members as a consequence some residents feel let down by the consultation. however I don’t see why Lapworth / owners should take all the blame. Bob knew he had a job to keep his members informed and has not done so and that is why NO single member of BAG has ever met with Lapworth / owners at their offices or on site. again this info has been confirmed to me by BOb Winkle himself.

  7. Claire it is amazing how as soon as some one disagrees with you and BAG (of which you are leading light??? In) you start having a pop at them personally… It is a bit like last week when a resident turned up at you BAG meeting and suggested they might like the plan , it was implied they were a relative of the developers !!! . I assume that was because they disagreed with your opinions or worse ?…???. By using your name doesn’t mean your view is more important.
    If Bob attended meetings with the owners surely he knew all along there is development why object now and not 12 months ago because over 12 months ago at the consultation they showed where they were looking to develop along chapel lane. Or was it easier at the time not to object and waste everyone’s time for another 12 months. If bob doesn’t represent BAG then why did he say he is the chairman, and meet the architects for 18 months, WASTING everyone’s time. You then say you don’t represent BAG views either. WHO actually does represent their views??. Or are you a bunch of individuals who just want to protect your personal interests and don’t care about the wider community.
    This traffic is a red herring as that problem has been there for years, and it isn’t going away!!! So let’s forget that really because that is upto both councils to resolve and not great barr hall.
    Claire for decades it suited BAG to align themselves to Peter Allen , now you try and discredit him because he is not agreeing with you(shame on you).
    If it’s true that both Tom Watson and Valerie Vaz have been invited to get in involved throughout this, and have ignored the process. Then they are no better than yourselves, no actually it’s worse as they are trying to buy votes and that is not what you expect from elected officials who should rise above cheap votes and represent the whole area
    Finally I am amazed that BAG now claim to have more knowledge than English heritage about enabling development. Clearly these people are wasted they should be national leaders.

    What this has shown everyone is BAG are not reasonable have no intention of ever accepting this development even though the developers have consulted them fully. Quite frankly BAG if you had such opinions then maybe you should have put your money where your mouth is and bought the site over the last 30 years, after all it’s PRIVATE LAND .

  8. So either Bob hasn’t consulted his own team/neighbours or BAG are lying.
    My conclusion is that BAG do not want any development or want to save the hall. So why tell everyone you want a proper development?
    I guess that’s the reason why they have aligned themselves with UKIP who have similar views.

  9. The only individuals supporting this latest attempt to dump another load of houses in the local Green Belt are Ian, one other named resident from Pheasey/Park Farm, a small number of people probably with links via family and business connections to the applicants who won’t even reveal who they are; and a group on a private Facebook page, again with probable links to the applicants.
    Claire, Bob (Winkle), Paul, myself and Ian for example, who have posted on both this website and the Beacon Action Group site over recent weeks are all long time local residents – for how long i wonder have the small number of people probably residing in Nether Hall Park and using pseudonyms lived in the local area? – And some of those individuals may not think much of the local Green Belt – the fields and wooded areas, but many people do.
    The majority of my friends and neighbours in Pheasey/Park Farm and most of the residents of Chapel Lane, Coronation Road, The Grove and Merrions Close oppose this planning application; And judging by the views given by the people i’ve spoken to from Nether Hall Park over the last two weeks, it looks like there’s a fair number of our good neighbours from Nether Hall against this proposed development as well.

  10. Clearly PK has some links to this development so please can you tell me what exactly does any resident of Chapel lane and residing roads get from this development?? Very little if anything that is a FACT other than looking at a six foot wall, the tops of houses where once was green land, traffic and LOTS of it!!!!!

    Let me give you my view…..not that you appear to care much, but here goes anyway;

    Yes you are correct in the ideal world I am sure us residents think it would be great to get the hall restored but given that all options appear to have been explored over the years in relation to funding such a project, and the only option is to build additional houses in order to fund something that will not be the hall but something that looks like it, then pull it down, build some type of museum that will appease Peter Allen (non resident) and co.
    To me now the ‘protected’ green belt should take priority over anything…..
    Let the owners build their beautiful houses around the lakes but leave it at that, leave the green belt green. Owners won’t be out of pocket, existing residents won’t have to put up with coaches driving back and forth up the lane…… Oh and this is a FACT if the hall gets the go ahead, there is insufficient parking for the 640 conference facilities, there are only 48 parking spaces, so the proposal submitted will be to ferry people in on coaches!!! Bizarre!!!
    Security issues will be resolved, and the surrounding walls etc tidy.

    Steve you are right, the only people in favour of this appear to be those that will not be affected, or have some direct link to the development…..I have tried to listen and be in favour of this proposal I really have, but there is absolutely nothing that this development will bring to our area… I will be strongly objecting as will most if not all of the residents on Chapel lane and surrounding.

    Chapel lane resident

  11. Non Political Party Person, adding to your list of people in favour, I am aware of people coming to show their support that do not even live in Great Barr or close by. More than one person i saw there spoke of how they were there to support their friends the developers and had come along to give the council favourable comments. Perhaps BAG should call swampy and co along to offer support, after all it would be the same thing, no?

    It seems very true that there is almost no one who will be affected actually supporting this development.

    Perhaps the hall is beyond repair at the moment but perhaps the hall may not be beyond restoration to it’s original self in financially better times so never say never.

  12. Pull the hall down? So UKIP are also in favour with this then. Forget history it’s all in the past then I suppose, don’t care about Great Barr Hall because we’ve got enough homage to the lunar society else where! Peter Allen doesn’t matter now, his view only matters when he supports our cause! The history of Walsall/Pheasey/Staffordshire only matters when I need it to!

    • I never said pull the hall down, neither did i say UKIP are in favour of this! I did not even infer it, I may have inferred that the hall could be restored properly at a later date, maybe. So please, do not put words in my mouth to support your strange change in support for the hall.

    • I don’t think that is what Paul said, I beleive he would actually like to see the hall saved, unless I have mis read his comments I don’t represent anyone except myself . Getting people from far afield to come and complete the suggestions comments is truely awful, desperate tactics indeed if this is true…..I hope Walsall Council won’t be fooled by this….this just makes me feel sick to the stomach and proves developers and owners don’t give a damn about local people…….History does matter yes indeed. But we will see nothing of the history in this land if this development goes ahead, indeed it will only destro the history that surrounds it.

  13. Hi Non Political Party Person; I was at the War Memorial Hall on Thursday evening talking with Paul and someone else and we were then joined by another group who it transpired had indeed travelled in from a fair distance away at the request of their friends the developers, to voice support for the application to Walsall MBC Planning Officers. The BCG Lakes/Lapworth proposals have i’d say very little support from the residents of Nether Hall Park, Pheasey/Park Farm, Chapel Lane, Coronation Road, The Grove and Merrions Close.

  14. Just shows a weak argument that you think the only people in support of this application are not locals.
    So I guess you are also in favour with pulling the hall down as the UKIP candidate?

  15. Quite the contrary actually oh Anonymous one. Pretty much everyone from the sizeable number of local residents that i’ve spoken with in regard of this much loathed planning application in recent weeks seem to feel that only a very small group of locals support the proposals; which i’d say makes our argument against the scheme stronger.
    If you can find anything printed anywhere on the planet that states that i’ve ever been in favour of pulling down any listed building anywhere in the United Kingdom, well here now is your opportunity to post it on this website. Happy hunting o mysterious one.
    P.S. The only probable official local candidate for May’s elections at this moment in time, is whichever of the current Conservative Councillors are up for re-election; should they of course choose to contest the ward once more.

    • Are you seriously saying as a so called local activist you have no idea who is up for re-election.

      Will give you a clue, it is what you do to a caravan to go on holiday.

  16. Well just asking! As a couple of BAG/chapel lane residents on here have stated to pull the hall down…I just thought BAG and UKIP were working together on this. As UKIP seem to be their preferred partner.
    We all know Steve that you are against the development, but then are also using this for political/personal gains!

  17. So Anonymous, you tell me what this development will bring to the area and what we as residents will gain from it? Oh and please don’t twist my views, I don’t want the hall pulled down, but if the cost is a ridiculous amount to rebuild then what is the point?.

  18. Anyonymous, considering BAG invited 2 labour MP’s and not UKIP to speak at their public meeting how do you consider BAG to have UKIP as it’s preferred partner? As you are clearly a card carrying member of PPF labour party and against, i guess that would suit you better!

    As it is, even your elected MP’s in the region are against! Never mind, like the developers you could always look further afield and maybe find a labour party MP in favour, if that fails you should easily get Baron Prescott talking in favour!

  19. Well for me the benefits ARE NHP will have better security. Derelict land will come back into use. The hall will be rebuilt and brought back to life in some shape/form rather than a sorry state of bricks. The category A lake/dam will be made safe! Which can be confirmed by the environmental agency is in need of major safety works…but I suppose for you not sitting in 5more minutes of traffic is more important than people’s lives/safety that live towards the bottom of queslett road?
    I would also like to know how you know the people came out in support were family members of the developers, is because they were in support? Or was it something else that said they were family?

    • Nice easy one out of that one eh? If they were there to support out of town I’m sure they wouldn’t be broadcasting. But i guess that’s how u can try and discredit supporters.

      • It was very easy yes, but then when people are honest they tend to do so!

        I take it you are now calling me a liar too, something i suppose you can do without redress when you are anonymous!

  20. I’m guessing you live on NHP, how would you feel if the road was opened to traffic, because although its not part if the existing plans there isn’t anything stopping this from being applied for at a later date. Yes I agree security will almost certainly be better, but given the owners plan to live on the land that would be a given anyway….as for the additional 5 mins in traffic comment, if only that were the only issue… forget this affects my life and that of my family’s also we have exactly the same issues with regards to the security as you do…..Anti social behaviour, joy riders etc…..oh and by the way I also own a property on NHP.

    • So your issues are security and restoration of the hall and dam……but why a 640 person conference centre and 58 houses????? Surely there has to be another solution

  21. Anonymous; I’ve been fighting to protect the local Green Belt since circa 1985, before i became involved in politics and joined the Labour Party.
    I can confirm that Paul does know the individuals who travelled in to support the planning application on Thursday evening. They were indeed surprised to see Paul there and initially under the impression that we were also there in support of the proposals. WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. NHP hasn’t been there for 30 years?? Sorry houses haven’t?? Didn’t really understand your comment, are you now saying you are against development Anonymous? Anyway yes most of the people I know on NHP and surrounding are against and will be objecting.

  23. I haven’t spoken to one person who is for it, and the more they find out the more they object same as I

    • Lets get one thing straight here, every single person in the ward, Great Barr, Birmingham, the west midlands could object and it would not make a single difference to the end result.

      Objections are only taken into account on planning grounds, BAG know this so have basically lied about some aspects of this to scare people. They make claims about 200 more homes put on there, EH would not back that and plans would fail. The road to Netherhall, well the councils can stop that being used for through traffic.

      BAG never wanted development and they know the grounds to appeal on planning law alone are actually rather thin.

  24. I agree No Political Party Person; Paul, myself and other local residents have now spoken to a growing number of people from Nether Hall Park over the past 15 days; When out leafleting in Nether Hall and at both events at the War Memorial Hall; and every single one of those individuals are opposed to the planning application.
    P.S. Paul; I believe those people who travelled in to support the development proposals were from Pleck?

      • So now you are saying bescot/pleck is not part of Walsall? And IF these people came in from another part of Walsall they are not allowed to have a say on the history of Walsall? Or is it just you don’t care about the rest of Walsall?

  25. No political of course they are going to be for it if you and your fellow supporters keep on peddling lies. Since the beginning of the application it has gone from 500 capacity conference suite to 600, and today it’s 640. Carry on like that by the end of the month you will be having everyone believe it’s 1000 capacity conference suite. The houses have gone from 57 to 60 and now 58 houses. I didn’t realize the planning application was changing so often!!! Or is it that it suits the chapel lane residents to lie and scare monger the general public out there, to get them to object. Or worse still you are realizing the plans are actually properly done and professionally prepared.
    I lose all respect for your case(all be it a very weak and personal case) when you lots pedal these lies and discredit anyone who tries to reason in favour..
    The truth is you people don’t care about the hall or the history you only care about your precious little views.

    • I actually think if they said that it would be more honest that the other stuff we have seen.

      For three decades the traffic has been appalling on Chapel Lane, where was BAG over this time. How many times did Bob ask Tom Watson, Peter Snape. Bruce George or Valerie Vaz to look at that during all this time ?

      Where was BAG after the planning regs were changed to warn the residents what could happen. Lets be clear the change in regs in 20102 opened this development path up.

      We know BAG have lied about not being consulted.

      • Other than that last comment Ian what exactly have BAG lied about?? I have checked the plans myself, there are roads there for no reasons, does that mean additional houses at a later date ?? There is a road to NHP ?? There is a 640 number conference facility ( sorry the number does keep changing but the more you look at the planning the more you realise) …. Im NOT BAG Btw!

      • I know you are not but they claim to represent the residents.

        So the road, the owners say it is for maintenance in the plans. Now it is up to the council to enforce that and not some kind of scare story about extra housing that the planning regs WOULD NOT SUPPORT.

  26. Right then let us look at this sensibly …

    People in Chapel lane almost if not all completely against

    People in NHP apparently all in favour (although i do know differently to this and that a fair few are against)

    People in Chapel Lane have a lot to loose

    People in NHP have a little to gain

    Everyone else locally has a lot to lose and nothing to gain

    The fair end result should be …

    NO DEVELOPMENT in it’s current form

    • You have NO idea at all about planning do you, it is embarrassing to read what you say above. Planning is based on rules and regs not public votes.

      What do people on Pheasey have to lose then ? It is land we can not see, land we can not access legally and for most it is land the Motorway runs across. Using your philosophy the M6 would never have been built.

      • If that is the case, why is there a consultation then?

        Why did the planning officer say they were “listening to views before they make a decision”?

      • Well?

        Any chance of an answer then?

        Why are they asking for views?

        Or is it like the answer you promised on not giving UKIP Walsall a link to their story when you were harping on about the Express & Star doing the same to you?

      • Of course they should listen to views and rightly so. However they can only recommend a refusal on Regs and Rules. The planning committee are the final adjudicators at this stage.

        As for the link I said I missed it out accidentally, I will put it in if you DM me the link.

      • Thank you Ian, I will send you an email right now, what i would like would you to do is put a lead in to the story as you did on the Labour stance and then link to the remainder of the post. That way you are not duplicating the text from the UKIP website.

        That is the fair and reasonable way to do it.

        One should never copy a story in full but always put a taster and then link to the rest, it is actually seen more as more favourably to you by google then. Acts in your favour rather than against.

      • you gave the OK to publish it and it was the lead on the day of publication, lead stories are purely on the basis of the latest to be published.

      • Not saying i did not give you permission to publish Ian, I did and are thankful that you did, just thought that you would have done the same thing as you did with the labour stance.

        Just think it is far better for both of us that you do the same and give the link too.

      • By lead Ian, i do not mean lead as in yur lead story, i mean lead as in you write a taster of the article and then let people follow the link if they want the full story

  27. BAG supporter oh if only they were lies, perhaps you should take a look at the plans like I have, As for lies, you have gone from being new to the area, to living here for years, to knowing very little about the plans to now becoming an expert hmmmmm…… Why on earth would we lie when the plans are PUBLIC for all to see, what a bizarre and comical statement. I was actually in support until I looked in to it. I was promised details of parking that aren’t there and guess what never got the details the disturbing bits aren’t in the wonderful plans

  28. Hi Paul, so that’s Bescot right next door to Pleck but a few thousand yards closer to Great Barr. I guess that’s local enough for the supporters of this widely hated planning application.
    Hi Ian; UKIP Walsall are currently going through a selection process for candidates for wards within the Borough for May’s Local Council Elections. A number of Prospective Local Election Candiates should be selected in a few weeks time, well before names are due to be forwarded to the Elections Office.

    • I never said that I said you have no idea who the councillor up for re-election is do you.

      Will save you a google and it is Chris Towe who was elected in 2010. You are aware that the councillors serve 4 year terms aren;t you ?

  29. I am of course well aware of who the incumbent Conservative Councillor up for re-election is, as is Paul and everyone else in the Walsall UKIP Branch.

  30. And ukip who no one bothers to listen to have the most to gain. Bag will clearly line up with whoever is prepared to listen to them.
    Watson and Vaz don’t understand the application don’t know the application think they are going to get votes of these people make headline remarks!!.
    Traffic: is a red herring as you said Ian the traffic has been there forever and a few more cars at PEAK time isn’t going to make any difference.
    Why hasn’t BAG and Tom Watson and Valerie Vaz over time lobbied for the traffic to be sorted?? Especially as we have had all this work done to M6.
    Why is it whenever a lie by BAG is caught out they hibernate until they come up with a new story..

      • the consultation being the big one, you would agree that this was a lie ?

        As for the conference hall their BAG website states both 500 and 600 and the independent traffic report states 650 ( but mainly at the weekend for weddings.

        This document is for me the most VITAL one on the whole process, they conclude

        “The evidence contained in this report demonstrates that there are no sustainable highway
        reasons why planning permission should be withheld for the residential development on
        land at the Great Barr Hall Estate. ”

        Please read this report in full.

      • Please tell me as it’s changing all the time… Is it 60 houses as it is advertised outside your houses or 57 as in the plans….
        Lies and more lies!!!

      • Seriously get a grip I haven’t any need to lie, and like I have said the plans are there for all to see oh and by the way the letters from Walsall Council 1 saying 57 houses one saying 59, so they must be telling lies too? Ridiculous comments from someone who is clearing trying to create a smoke screen…..

      • ah right I think I know 59 is from …

        it is 57 homes plus 2 gatehouse lodges, the official application is

        Restoration and alterations to Great Barr Hall Grade II* Listed Building and Grade II Registered Park including:- Creation of Hotel/Wedding Conference Centre/Restaurant – restore lawns to Great Barr Hall – 2 Gatehouse Lodges – Maintenance Building/Store – 57 new dwellings – enhanced open space and nature conservation – acoustic barrier – boat house – summer house – demolition of farm buildings and installation of photovoltaic panels alongside motorway. Application is accompanied by an Environmental Statement.

      • The report that you have linked says the venue is geared towards Asian weddings, I have been to a number of Asian weddings and I am sure you are aware that they can have capacities of anything up to 1000

  31. (Not Really A) BAG supporter; Approx 630 local residents listened to UKIP and voted UKIP the last time the Pheasey/Park Farm Ward was contested. Around 20% of the vote cast and about 620 local residents more than are supporting your widely unpopular views.

  32. Ukip yet you have no councillors !!. You are nothing than a protest vote, to the 2 main parties. Never will have any power so you latch on issues and go against the status quo and don’t need to give any solutions as you will never be in power to carry them out.

  33. 2 main parties? HMMMMMMMMMMM currently in the north it is labour and UKIP, in the south it is conservative & UKIP, Well, so the polls show!

    Pretty soon it will be UKIP and the other couple of little parties all over the map!

  34. I guess that is why Walsall council wanted both BAG and the developers away from the planning meeting last week so as not to taint people’s view…I haven’t looked at BAG website , I made my own mind up by what I asked the Council ( they said capacity 640) btw…unless they lie too???? I am guessing they must be as this is where I got most of my comments from???!!!! …I tried To get answers from Lapworths and they ignored…..lies is a horrible word I prefer telling tales myself, what is the point in telling tales when all is there to see!!!!!

    • indeed I agree so why did they tell Tom different ?

      Anyhow that makes no difference … as I keep saying and will time and time again this decision will be made purely on the planning regs and rules alone, If for or against those are what you play to.

      • Does that mean I wasn’t telling lies!! Well thank goodness for that…..silly silly comments

      • So why ask to listen to people thoughts? Why hold a public meeting to gain feedback from the public?

    • No political party … Yet mr winkle was at the meeting in the evening . The same mr winkle who feels no consultation was carried out yet he has been involved with the architects for ages on your and your fellow residents behalf..!!!!! Or didn’t he represent you lots.

      • You seem to no an awful lot for someone new to the area… I have lived on Chapel Lane for years and wouldn’t have a clue what he looked like….so who are you BAG supporter I am intrigued…….

  35. (Not Really A) BAG supporter; UKIP have no Councillors in Walsall, yet. Prior to last years local elections UKIP had around 130 local councillors; We then won another 147 councillors and had a further 5 local councillors re-elected on the same day. Since then we have a had a number of defections of mostly Conservative and Independent councillors to UKIP in England and Wales and we have also won a number of local council by-elections across England. UKIP now have control of one local council, Ramsey in Cambridgeshire.

  36. So ukip (no councillors in walsall) so what is your solution to great barr hall. Oh and if you come up with this half baked story of build on brownfield land where’s that land going to come from?? Or are you going to hide behind the normal you don’t need a solution(after all you never going to get elected so never implement it). For once surprise us all and let’s see if you have a solution to a 30 year old problem.

  37. Ian

    thanks for posting link to the traffic statement.

    a few observations

    following a 16 day survey of private houses it is accepted that knew average each house has on average 5.08 traffic moments which equates to 290 across the 57 houses this equates to a 5% increase on weekday traffic on chapel lane.

    during weekdays the hall will be used for CONFERENCES with a maximum capacity of 200 AND the report states start times will be arranged to avoid morning and afternoon peak times. This can be controlled by a planning condition I assume?

    weekends the combined use of Great Barr Hall could result in maximum capacity of 650 which would equate to 149 cars.

    I ask you to all consider:

    BAG say you have 600 odd traffic movements per hour both directions on weekday morning. on weekends this figure according to the report is 150

    even if great Barr hall operated every weekend at 650 users that is 150 cars MAX using the accepted occupancy of 3.5 per car. add 150 to the existing 150 this is still 50% less than the current weekday peak?

    How often are you going to have a 650 wedding? I have never been to a winter or even spring wedding?

    • Indeed the council can limit the conference hours and I have suggested on here it is limited to 10-5 on the weekday which is more than enough for any conference.

      As this is an exception then the council could limit the number of events, capacity etc and that is what BAG should be arguing for in a constructive dialogue with council and owners.

  38. I believe the hall if owners are lucky would hold no more than 25 events per year at maximum capacity and even on those Saturdays Sundays thr traffic for residents would be half than the current weekday peak??

  39. (Not Really A) BAG supporter; Whoever said that UKIP have an answer as to who pays for the restoration of Great Barr Hall?
    At present we are fully focused on fighting to preserve the local Green Belt.

  40. Well why build a 650 capacity hotel conference facility if no one is going to use it?change it to 200 and we might be getting somewhere
    And where are the extra 100 cars going to park? Not that this is what is being communicated as Walsall council say coaches have been proposed to ferry people in, nor …. did they mention the usage restriction of 200 during the week, so that’s a new one ….

  41. the last time I looked outside great Barr hall I noted sufficient space for at least say 35-50 vehicles.

    the report also suggests that parking will be all along Suttons drive to avoid building a multi storey in the green belt.

    if they have coaches then I assume opposed to 150 MAXIMUM cars would only need parking for say 50?

    reality is there is no magic answer there has to be a willingness to compromise from all parties.

    your idea of a 200 limit should be answered and not ignored. but I assume you would need to generate a certain sum to pay for upkeep not sure if 200 would achieve this. but fair point.

    • Compromise was always the key. The owners position are the plans but there are things like capacities, reduce the number of homes by a bit, opening hours that they could compromise on. However BAG as the local reps seem to have no compromise position.

      • I would agree to compromise, bu simply cannot except plans in their current form, do what alternative do I have other than too object ?

  42. Ukip: to save the green belt( even though it is a registered park) you have to have a solution to the problem not just sit there objecting. We can all object to everything out there, but if that is all we did all the time what kind of world would we live in. So come on why don’t you do something useful and concentrate your minds on coming up with a solution then we may all start taking you seriously as a party and not just an agitation.!! Surprise us all

    • Here is an example, nationally UKIP are all for Fracking, Fracking will be mainly in green belt areas. Luckily no evidence it would happen here but if they wanted to what would the position be then ?

  43. I’m not too good with figures so forgive me on this, and i havent fully absorded the costs for this development, but a smaller venue would mean less building of houses?? And would mean that the owners wouldnt be out of pocket based on your earlier comment?? And may get more residential support… But I am sure this has already been looked in to and has probably already been answered . If the venue is mostly only going to cater for 200 then why not keep it to that?

  44. Non political – I asked this question on Thursday and was told typically YES. Smaller hall = less houses.

    However in this case i was told that the owners are making a 2.5 million loss even with the 57 houses and if you have a smaller hall or take items off the restoration list ie the boat house lodges etc etc then DTZ have argued that the value of the finished Hall and setting would decrease and that in itself would require more houses.

    I understand the owners have also agreed to forgo ANY profit which they are legally entitled to. iF they end up with half of a hall then I guess at some stage they may decide they want their profit which in itself I guess would mean more houses.

    Very tricky indeed! As I say no magic answers available unfortunately

    • Not quite, any Enabling development is linked to the hall being fully restored. There is a clear link that is enforced by planning permission and EH rules.

      The scare stories are that 200 homes could be built there, roads to connect Netherhall, that can all be blocked by planning and ENFORCED.

  45. Hi Ian; I respect the fact you’ve taken a position in regard of this planning application that is contrary to the stance taken by both Valerie Vaz and Tom Watson; And your views on this topic may perhaps not make you too popular with some Euro-Labour members, but it’s your democratic right to follow the path you are taking.
    Both Paul and i greatly admire your rejection of the last Euro-Labour Governments crazy plan (and now taken up by the current FibCon Coalition) to close a number of services at the Hallam hospital and transfer them miles away across to a proposed new site at Grove Lane Smethwick. We can at least agree on what an appalling idea that is!!!
    Likewise, personally i am against fracking; and if anyone ever attempts it here anywhere in our Green Belt i will be one of many local residents, including yourself i’m sure, that will be opposing such a move.

  46. Ian, i missed you at the Collingwood Centre yesterday evening and i heard that you had not made it along, is there anything that you would like to know with regard to what information was on offer, if you actually did not make it along?

    You may be interested to know that there is another public meeting scheduled for Thursday 20th February at Great Barr Methodist Church Hall, starting 7.30, should you wish to come along to this, you will be made very welcome, as will anyone who would like to come along.

    • Paul

      I also never managed to make it last night could you give us a overview?

      Who was present? Numbers etc? Did the architects / owners attend?

  47. PK, It was identical to the previous meeting at Chapel Lane, much the same people from the planning dept, Adrian Andrew and Chris Towe were also both in attendance,

    In all honesty there was no more than a handful of people in the 90 minutes i was there, quite different to the same event in Chapel Lane.

    I know there was one guy from NHP there in favour but other than that i cannot say about the other few. Apparently, there was not a lot of interest during the afternoon either.

    To me it certainly seems like those against are certainly out numbering those in favour.

  48. Thanks for that.

    Were any new issues brought to your attention?

    Did you get any answers to any questions you asked? What did you ask?

  49. Not really any issues to be honest.

    I asked of the planners about the layout of the houses and whether it could be seen as opening the possibility of infill between them in the future, especially the way the roads were laid out. They agreed that this was a possibility. The same question of messrs Towe & Andrew was asked and they stated that there could be a clause to stop this.

    I asked of the planners if they thought the 9/10 year plan may make the costings different for the hall refurbishment if the hall is the latter of the development, they appeared to think so. Councillor Towe was unaware that it was a 9/10 year development and now i am not sure if it actually is as i completely forgot who told me it was as i have been to so many different events. He did, however, state that there could be a ruling made that no habitation would be allowed until the hall was finished. This i am not sure of, as if the hall refurbishment costs are to be met from the profits of the house sales, then how can there be no habitation before the hall is finished? Then one can add the worry that once the houses are built, if the hall is last then how would the council be able to stop the houses if the hall was not completed.

    I asked the planners about the proximity of the pylons to the proposed houses and how this sat with them, they did not seem too keen.

    No one i asked could answer about the possibility of the road network being joined on to NHP.

    There was certainly no one from BAG at the meeting that i knew of unlike the Great Barr counterpart.

    Planning guys appear to be aware of the majority stating that they support the application being from the wider area in the main as opposed to the many who reject the development being very local indeed.

    From my knowledge, the detail offered at any point at any of the 3 public meetings/consultations is not 100% of the information readily available. By that I mean that there are certain points being made that are not completely correct, there are also things in the development proposal that neither of the 3 meetings has mentioned. Some people are also bandying figures around that are not right.

    I feel that there is still at lot of information not understood, not that i am inferring it particularly supports either side of the argument as there is both good and bad things that are not currently mentioned anywhere that i can see.

  50. Paul

    Very detailed response!

    From what I understand enabling development does not allow for a second bit of the cherry. Developers act at risk and even if it costs more than they expected they will be forced to continue as per the agreement. This I think is a real risk as build costs always go one way! In reality what this means is if owners need extra funds sat in 2017 they will not be able to apply for more enabling development or more houses so roads / layouts etc I think are a red herring although these concerns have been raised by BAG quite a few times so could be more to it than meets the eye!

    Have you heard that owners intend to not build their houses till last and wont be occupied till hall is complete? If true I think this is VERY big commitment.

    Reality is most people I think don’t really have time commitment or interest to me included to study all of the reports etc. What info /figures do you think have not been made clear?

  51. PK, the worry is as you mention, no more enabling development, yes, however, if they have no more funds left to complete then what happens? The houses will be there, the hall will still be rubble to all intense and purpose. If they could not realise anymore funds what happens next? Even considering they have not built their own houses, where would the money then come from? I suppose they could pay for their own houses and then use the money to finish the hall, but have they that money? What if they are short by even more money? Whatever rules are set, you cannot get blood from a stone. Even if you have the view that they intend to carry the development through to the end, if they cannot do so financially then there is a problem. Even if you have the view that they want to finish it and are honorable in their intentions, the problem is that they may not be able to. Then who would take up the development with just a few houses left to be built and a massive cost to meet with the hall refurbishment.

    I have actually spoken with a very nice gentleman, one of the owners and i believe he is genuine in his statement that they mean well and aim to do as they suggest. I even believe him when he says he would like to do even more. I just worry that circumstances my stop him and his colleagues.

    As i intimate above, i do understand that they are not considering moving in until the hall is built.

    This is very true PK, most people do not have the time or inclination to study the whole plans, myself included where time is concerned, this has to be the job of the planners and planning committee i suggest. Not that this means that people cannot draw their own conclusions on the short version of information available as this is their prerogative and people are entitled to an opinion.

    I think people are wrong in the capacity of the conference centre, there are mention of up to 600 places, this is not correct. There is suggestions that the traffic will be away from the rush hour and that it will not make life difficult. I Think that is incorrect too. I have stood in Chapel Lane on a day and time out of the rush hour and there is still a high volume of traffic, i have pictures from a Sunday morning to prove so. The suggestion of out of hours opening will not take that in to account.

    Some people think that there is little parking, as low as 40 or 50 places, this is not the case. Fair comment, there will also be parking up Suttons Drive to the hall, but there will be more than 50 places. Not sure how residents will see that on a regular basis?

    People have mentioned coaches, lots of them, this, having listened to people discuss it, i can only think is a misconceived idea and i will not even take the time to go in to their reasoning behind the idea. There is no more reason for coaches to be prevalent here than at the Holiday Inn up the road or any other wedding venue for that matter. Although if there were lots of coaches i would like to think that they had to enter from Birmingham Road rather than the other direction. I hope if the development goes ahead that there will be restrictions placed upon Chapel Lane and that traffic will not be allowed in from Barr Beacon direction.

    These are not the only observations i have but just a few. You may need to come to the UKIP organised public meeting for more, you will be, of course made very welcome.

    I hope that that answers your questions above for now?

  52. Hi Paul the attached document the I beleive Ian has already published is where the venue capacity of 650 and use of coaches has come from;
    Walsall planners also confirmed this at last weeks meeting.
    I asked the same question yesterday in regards to additional parking and was also told it would be down Suttons Drive ……which I guess makes me feel a ‘little’ more comfortable. There just seems to be too many what if’s,buts maybes…. I also think you are spot on , even if rules are drawn in the development you cannot get blood out of a stone……Surely there has to be some compromise in all of this…………

  53. Oh I forgot to mention I also met a lovely gentleman in one of the original consultation meetings a year or so back, who advised he was one of the owners, seemed really genuine. Told me that this development would add money to my property, and we would be able to walk the grounds and enjoy the park… ….

  54. I have been ill over the past few days so apologies for the lack of replies to the above.

    Paul, I was not able to attend due to being ill and I am glad you have had the same conversation with the owners I did. You can see now why I did think they were genuine and that they were not people out for themselves and money only.

    For me personally I do not think that there is any need for another meeting now as the information is all out there and what would it achieve now ?

    Is your position Paul that still no building on the land for the enabling development because your PR ( says that.

    I welcome your comments above as a more rational and sensible input inot the debate and wished it could have been like that from the start. I do sense now before the planning meeting on the 9th April that compromises are definitely in the air.

    That I warmly welcome.

  55. Ian, I am rational and always willing to listen to everyone’s views. As a member of UKIP I like to listen to people and go with the majority of feeling, i believe in referenda and thus far there are many more people against than for.

    The people that matter most in this scenario are the people on NHP, Chapel Lane, Coronation Rd, Merrions Close, The Grove, Birmingham Rd and the top end of PF. Then the people from Pheasey and the greater extent of Park Farm and other parts of Great Barr. After that is the people of the boroughs surrounding and then the rest of the country who too have a say regarding a most important building such as Great Barr Hall. I would consider the weight of the nearest above the rest as they are the people going to be affected the most.

    I do not want to say too much so as to pre-empt next weeks public meeting, however, there are things that i have been told that do not add up. Things shown at meetings and consultations that do not add up.

    Parking and traffic is a large bone of contention and there are points not clear, such as how many parking spaces there actually are! Do you know?

    For every conversation I have about the development i hear a new fact or fiction!

    It would be nice that everyone knew everything and as yet i do not think most know that much.

  56. hi Paul

    I understand that there are 50 odd in car park, space for another 50 outside hall and that Suttons drive will be used is this correct?

  57. Well, not sure they need to use suttons drive and think they have other ideas. Listening to one side then the other and reading traffic reports it is a bit of a murky situation, this i think is by design as parking is a point that this could fall down on!

    • It could certainly fall down if the development causes harm to setting of listed building. What surprises me is that they have so MUCH land as much as we on netherhall get they haven’t built a car park… Or do you think this was deliberate tactic?

      • They do not want to build another carpark so that they do not spoil any more landscape, I believe this may have been an EH provision?? I’m sure I have seen it in a document? I may be wrong……..the venue capacity is simply too big. I am dredding the thought of weddings in the summer…can you imagine it, typical Saturday in June, July sees 2/3 weddings at the church. Anyone that has been to a wedding there will no that it is a free for all when parking cars. Some of this parking will be lost if the plans go ahead ( the uturn at the entrance to Suttons Drive) and then on top of this we will have wedding attendees up and down the road to the Hall, and lets not forget the golf club too….All very very closely situated, in fact within a few meters. Oh and let’s not forget the working farm next door to the golf club!

  58. I guess that the setting will be lost forever if this development goes ahead.

    Not sure i would be happy at having a 600+ venue at the top of my estate like NHP will. Imagine the noise generated on a warm summers night.

    With a mixture of hotel, restaurant, wedding venue linked by a public footpath to NHP it could be rather busy down there at closing time! Taxis queuing up at the top of the horseshoe for the shortest route to the venue, people strolling through NHP after a booze filled night out, People going the other way even … the mind boggles sometimes.

  59. In terms of nosie isn’t the function room proposed in front of the French garden? The houses on our estate are about 30 metres higher than the function room so the room s in essence being built 10 metres or so underground. In addition the closest house would be at least 100 metres away. Given these facts I fail to see how any sound could be heard outside of room unless it was deliberatly intended?

    Reality is the owners will most likely live closer to great Barr hall than me and most people living on netherhall. I can’t see them wanting to create a situation with drunken yobs wandering the estate at silly o clock because people are more likely to be interested in wandering near their houses and lakes etc rather than our isolated estate?

    However to address all of our concerns I am sure the council would in any case introduce planning conditions controlling noise and hours of operation?

  60. Well PK, they probably can and would, however, what time limit could you impose on a wedding venue, hotel and restaurant? Hardly 8, 9 or 10 pm now could you.

    Who mentioned yobs? People with alcohol in them are not yobs, they may be a little loud though!

    PK, you have to understand that there are more people affected by this than just the people of NHP. Have a thought for them too, unlike bovis and Prescott did for you poor souls who purchased on NHP!

  61. I think 23.00 is a fair time for restrictions.

    To be honest in my opinion the most Signifantly affected people are those 15 odd houses on chapel lane.

    The reason I believe this is parky due to UKIPs official great Barr policy which states that according to residents you’ve spoken to it takes 15 minutes for Chapel lane residents to reverse of their driveway in rush hour. Assuming this is correct then I believe chapel lane residents are the most significantly Affected by traffic.

    Same does not apply to other residents On Coronation Road or Merrions Close who want go onto Birmingham road or j7 they have other options. They could do the sensible thing and drive to the top of merinos close and go onto the Birmingham Road. If the UKip policy is correct then surely this would be a quicker alternative even with current traffic levels if it takes the residents 15 mins to reverse of their driveway then perhaps it would take coronation road merinos close residents 20-25 minutes in currently traffic flows to get onto chapel lane. Whenever I’ve driven up coronation road its taken me 1-2 minutes max so cant understand why anyone would want to go onto chapel lane from coronation road in rush hour.

    NHP residents have our own concerns/ issues in an ideal world we would have no housing and still get 24 hour security and access to lakes. However this is not ideal world and mostnof us have been sold a false lie by Bovis this proposal whilst notmperfect has a lotmof merit also!

    • Oh that’s alright then only a few houses being affected, so if doesn’t matter then!!!?? Will they be getting compensation for the disruption it will create and the effects it will have on their lives and homes….errrr I doubt it

  62. PK, it is nothing to do with UKIP that the residents in Chapel Lane are against and there was over 100 people in the public meeting that BAG organised only a few Saturdays back, these are the people we are listening to. Both local MP’s have spoken against, why? Why, because the majority of people are against and they are the people that we are listening to. Of course we isten to those for, however, it seems there are more against than for, that added to the fact it will spoil greenbelt is why we are on the side of against.

    It is my belief that exiting Merrions Close on to Birmingham Rd is also a major issue and that cars back up there too, so the poor people of that area are scuppered either way, perhaps you may say that they should go the opposite way next and head for Barr Beacon to escape their misery? All this added to the illegal entrances in to Coronation Rd from Chapel Lane.

    What about if the road was joined in to NHP and the traffic filtered through there? How would that hold with you? It is a possibility i would have thought.

  63. That is exactly what happens Paul the traffic tailing back cuts through Coronation Road to avoid the traffic lights, this will only get worse….also you are correct what is stopping the walk way to Nether Hall being opened up at a later stage, especially when people realise we were right all along and Chapel lane simply cannot cope…they would have no alternative

    • Guys

      Let’s keet everything in perspective:

      The BAG said 47 illegal right turns were made onto Coronation Road in 2 hours during rush hour. That is almost 1 every 2.5 minutes that make an illegal turn. I fail to see the issue with traffic on coronation road in terms of capacity although i accept the 47 cars should be stopped as it is illegal.

      Whatever our personal views I am sure that a number of surveys would have been carried out by owners surely we should all focus on their findings results as they were independent?

  64. Let me tell you, as a pedestrian this morning i went to cross Coronation Rd whilst walking along Chapel Lane towards St Margarets Church from Birmingham Rd. I looked left and behind and there was no traffic approaching, i went to cross and nearly got took out by a car making an illegal turn right turn!

    I did not, although should have, expected him to make the illegal turn.

    • Are you aware that Chapel Lane has had no reported accidents in the last 4 years? This is a fact and facts are what this application should be based on. You have admitted yourself that you have already heard so many different things that the truth about this application has got blurred.

      I feel BAG are primarily to blame for this.

      Perhaps ALL of us should moving forward base our comments / support and concerns based on FACTS. Just a thought.

  65. I was not aware when the last accident happened in Chapel Lane, but can assure you it was bloody close this morning!

    BAG are not to blame at all, i think there is mixed facts coming from the other side to be honest.

    I do base my comments on facts PK and the fact is Chapel Lane cannot cope with any more trafffic.

  66. PK I am not BAG and live on Chapel Lane very close to the church. I am basing all of my views on fact and my own observations. I live this everyday so please be assured I am not having my opinions blinkered by anybody. Yes you are correct there have not been any reported accidents an Chapel Lane in a few years, but that does not make everything ok… be fair there is that much traffic it doesn’t get chance to speed up ! I am really not trying to block this application for the sake of it, I really do think it will have a major impact on me and my neighbours

    • NPPP I accept that Chapel Lane is busy in morning however so are a signiganct number of other roads in this area at that particular time.

      if you really do support renovation of great barr hall it’s unfortunate but you are going to have to accept some additional traffic whether that be from the hall or the houses or both.

      My comments regarding coronation road residents still stands. if it takes you guys 15 minutes to revere of your drives why can’t take drive up the road when according to statistics from their own surveys they get 1IIllegal car every 2/3 minutes ALL of the other traffic is I assume people who live on the road.

      • sorry why don’t coronacoronayieldson road residents drive up to morrisons close opposed to waiting 20 minutes?

        I would assume iffy situation is as bad as you say then reality is they will already be avoiding chapellet lane it is for those reason I do accept they are significantly impacted by traffic. hope you follow logic.

  67. Paul, myself, a number of members of both the West Bromwich and Walsall UKIP Branches and a number of our family, friends and neighbours from Pheasey/Park Farm have now attended a number of events connected to the BCG Lakes/Lapworth application over the last 3 weeks; Have leafleted Chapel Lane, Coronation Road, The Grove, (part of) Birmingham Road, Merrions Close, Nether Hall Park and part of Pheasey/Park Farm; have spoken to a growing number of local residents in regard of the application and nearly all of the people we’ve talked with are strongly against the proposed development. There are only a very small number of local residents in favour of this widely unpopular planning application.

  68. there is not really any real use in discussing the application with yourselves which is unfortunate.

    you are welcome to your views and I respect the UKIP approach on referendums. HoweverBirmingham could NEVER vote for a party whose approach to most situations is to let the people decide in my opinion it kind of defeats the object of having an elected leader.

    • Referenda gives the elected leaders to low down on the peoples beliefs PK, let us face it, elected leaders do not know everything and cannot be expected to do so. The UKIP approach gives the power back to the people on issues that may not have even been on the agenda when the elected were actually elected.

      When Tony Blair was in power, i dare say you voted for your local labour MP, did you agree with everything he did after you voted? I hope and guess not, yet with the current system you are not allowed to a say in things he chooses to do, at last in the UKIP way, should there be something that crops up, you would have the chance to vote on it. Not a bad thing at all i think.

  69. PK I don’t no if you have noticed but Chapel Lane is a B Road country lane , and not really designed for this volume of traffic! It also has a golf club church and several farms amongst other things unlike most roads in Great Barr….

      • people will and do have opinions on this application and others despite any comments I make.

        My point is that I do not feel the approach of referendum is a good one in relation to planning applications.

        my view which I am entitled to.

      • PK does not think people have a right to a referendum on this! I bet if they were going to build a bail hostel in NHP that PK would would not be saying the same thing.

        Bottom line is PK is scared that the people get there way because the majority of people are against unlike PK, who is in the minority.

    • From a factual perspective I think if you spoke to a highways engineer they would confirm that the capacity of the B road is perhaps triple what it is at the moment.

      The fact that there are some farms and a golf club does not takeaway from the capacity of Chapel Lane.

      • This traffic thing is such a red herring. the traffic has been like since I started driving 21 years ago, were people who moved in since unaware of the blockage ?

        Is NPPP seriously suggesting Chapel Lane is shut down to through traffic sh he/she can have their own peaceful/quiet road ?

        I notice no one has bother to speak to Tom/Peter/Valerie/Bruce about the general traffic problems way before this application turned up. Of course shut Chapel Lane and then watch the Beacon Road and Queslett totally jam up and cause far more problems for far more people. At rush hour it can take 10 minutes to get from the Cat and Fiddle to the Old Horns now, we have our problems as well because people are driving more and more.

        The independent traffic report is clear, Walsall Council’s own report is clear about the traffic.

      • No Ian, the traffic is not a red herring at all, you would like it to be i am sure, however, only as you now that the traffic can be the one certain thing that will scupper this proposed development.

  70. Shutting the road….no there is an idea! Without wanting to repeat myself we are all aware of the traffic issues on Chapel Lane, as was I when I purchased my house….I was also aware that one day there may be a possibility of housing being built on the protected green belt by the Holiday Inn….what I wasn’t prepared for was a 650 capacity hotel!!!

  71. Having taken into account what you were and weren’t aware of when you purchased your house the below stands:

    From a factual perspective I think if you spoke to a highways engineer they would confirm that the capacity of the B road is perhaps triple what it is at the moment.

    The fact that there are some farms and a golf club does not takeaway from the capacity of Chapel Lane.

  72. Paul

    I make the comment as a Fact based on all of the evidence presented in the application by the Highways specialists.

  73. So does the highway specialist believe that someone should be stuck on their drive for 30 minutes, 45 minutes or even an hour before the road can take more capacity then?

    I think your comments are more based on the fact that you assume this may cut down on the issues you have on NHP, I also think you are miles out on this assumption and that you are not interested in the fact it will makes peoples lives a misery in Chapel Lane as long as you, yourself are OK down in NHP.

    You need to look at the future implications too, the 10 years that it will take to complete this development, if ever they do so.

  74. PK; It remains to be seen whether or not sizeable numbers of people over the border in Birmingham will vote UKIP in May’s European Union and Local Council Elections. Here in the Black Country UKIP has steadily been increasing it’s share of the vote most noteably in Walsall and over in Dudley, where there have now been very active and steadily growing branches for a number of years. newer UKIP branches in neighbouring West Bromwich and over in Wolverhampton are quickly gaining new members and will be putting up a fair number of candidates in the local elections in May.
    UKIP’s Birmingham branches are also seeing new members joining; and they too will be contesting a good number of wards in the City.
    I wonder if our good neighbours over the border on Booths Lane, Lindsay Road, Ashworth Road, Bowman Road, Caddick Road and Sandy Lane would like the chance to vote in a referendum in regard of the plan to dump another 249 houses on their doorsteps?
    I somehow rather suspect that they might.

  75. Steve from your last post I guess you’ve never spoken to those who live on Booths Lane? They were actually in favour of the 249 properties you say were “dumped”. The residents of Booths lane were involved and voted for the development.
    They saw that it will improve the road surface once completed and would see their property values increase!!!
    Average selling price of the new builds on Booths Lane is approx £175k hence increasing the values of the existing properties.

  76. Anonymous; Since the reports in local newspapers a few weeks back regarding a proposal for another 249 houses being built near Sandy Lane on land belonging to people who own the golf range, i have neither seen nor heard anything else on this subject.
    When exactly did the residents of Booths Lane (and i presume the residents of Sandy Lane, Ashworth Road, Bowman Road and Caddick Road) vote in a referendum in regard of the planning application?
    And what percentage of residents actually voted in favour of the proposed development?

    I cannot recall there having been a referendum in Birmingham (or anywhere in the Black Country either for that matter) in relation to a planning application for new housing development, so your information regarding such a referendum having taken place recently in part of the Oscott Ward has, i must admit, come as something of a surprise.

    Has anyone else on here any details regarding this referendum/vote having taken place in Oscott recently?

  77. Hi, one of your ‘neighbours from t’other side of the road’ here! I live in Ashworth Road and would like to clear up a couple of things that have been said in these last few comments re the development proposals of Taylor Wimpey on the Booths Lane site. Firstly I want to point out that there has been NO referendum and it is certainly NOT TRUE that ‘all the residents’ have voted in favour of/are in favour of the development….quite the opposite in fact!

    I moved to Ashworth Road over 15 years ago and alongside the majority of the residents of the estate, consisting of Booths Lane, Ashworth Road, Bowman and Caddick Roads we have had great concerns and been involved in opposing, over the many years, the various development proposals that have involved the Booths Lane site. Our concerns have included the huge impact on traffic and the infrastructure (support services and so forth) that so many new homes, people and cars would have on such a small area of land….and the surrounding area. And we are greatly concerned with the loss of the open spaces.

    The Booths Lane site has been divided into a number of plots, owned, sold on, and subjected to many proposals over many years by a number of developers….such as Brompton Homes and Cameron. Unlike Greenbelt ‘protected’ (yeah right!) land, this site does not have that protection and has made our concerns and oppositions to development all the more harder to fight. The current, near completed development site by Persimmon has now sadly set the precedent. We raised concerns, argued against the developments from the start, and this has been going on for many years, but sadly the Persimmon proposals were accepted by Birmingham City Council. We did have some small success in a reduction of the number of houses they could build….but as I said, this set the precedent and we had fears worse was to come…and it has. We were gravely shocked and concerned by this latest Taylor Wimpey proposal of 249 houses on such a small site. This development is over 5 times the size of the Persimmon development, 2/3rds the size of the Netherhall and approx. the same number of houses as that of the mature Booths Lane estate (incl. Ashworth, Booths, Caddick and Bowman Roads) BUT on an area less than half the size! Do you seriously think we would find this acceptable and would vote in favour of it?!

    The first of the public meetings regarding Taylor Wimpey took place in October 2013, concerns were raised and suggestions made for changes to the design that they said they would take on board and some implemented – regarding the realignment of Booths Lane, issues regarding frontage to Sandy Lane, parking within the actual development…but unfortunately NOT regarding our opposition to the high number of dwellings. Despite residents making suggestions on how the development could be improved…it was clear that the majority of the Booths Lane residents and those that attended the meeting were NOT in favour of the development.

    A second meeting was held last night 20th February 2014 at Glenmead P School so that Taylor Wimpey could show the most recent development proposals, along with representatives of the BCC Planning and Transportation Dept. and 3 ward councillors (Labour) that residents could question and be allowed to put forward concerns etc. It was clear from the start that ALL those residents who spoke were unhappy with the proposals, none spoke out in support of it and at times the meeting got heated and agitated. We have again put forward our opposition to so many houses being built, how many cars this will potentially put in the area and impact on the surrounding roads, and the number of extra residents that will impact on the infrastructure, services etc and the loss of much needed open space. There is also the fact that this land has history and complications regarding Landfill, drainage and flooding problems, and although developers have said they are confident in dealing with these issues, we do have concerns over what developing on these areas will have on the future of residents, and the environment. We also discovered last night that the owner of another area of land to the rear of this proposed development (backing onto Perry Beeches School) has been recently approached by another developer. The general feeling of residents last night was, that if the Taylor Wimpey goes ahead, then house development on this site is a ‘given’…and potentially also for any other remaining land, thus removing all open space in that area.

    We feel this Taylor Wimpey proposal has been planned behind closed doors, under pressure from national government with little regard to the impact of yet more development and population /traffic increase on our local community but we also feel we have been ‘put over a barrel’ since the much needed and required improvement to that section of Booths Lane will only happen when development occurs. We know deep down our concerns and opposition will be basically ignored and the development WILL go ahead…but I again state…WE ARE AGAINST IT.

    We may be on the other side of the road and under BCC but this and any following developments WILL impact on you, the residents of Pheasey, Park Farm, Netherhall, and all other surrounding areas because we all use the same roads and we feel the increased traffic that will occur around the Queslett Rd, Sandy Lane and Aldridge Rd WILL have an impact on you. I urge any of you with concerns, to have your say and email the planning dept. We have been advised that protests will have little impact but individuals emails are more effective. and quote ref application number 2013/09475/PA

    I’d also like to take the opportunity to say that I and many people of the Booths Lane estate, have great interest in the future of Great Barr Hall and its grounds and have grave concerns over the proposed developments….and have done since the issues began after it was sold off after the closure of the hospital. It is my opinion that the Hall is now sadly beyond saving and I really do not think the current owners will fulfil their promises or obligations in it’s restoration…if they are allowed to build the houses I believe more development will come and that total greenbelt area is in danger of being lost. You have concerns over the traffic impact on Chapel Lane and surround roads with this GBH development proposal…well add to that the situation regarding the proposed Taylor Wimpey development and the potential problems of traffic alone is quite frankly a big one! Ange.

  78. Ange, really interested to read your comments, you are so right, Great Barr just doesn’t need anymore development, 249 houses in that area of land just seems bizarre!! Queslett road and surrounding will become even more gridlocked in the morning…..I will certainly send my concerns to the attached, and for my own reasons being that this would push even more traffic on to Chapel Lane ….

  79. Ange, thank you awfully for posting these details and for offering your support against the Great Barr Hall Development. Please feel free to join us tomorrow night at Great Barr Methodist Hall, Sundial Lane – 19.30 onwards. I am sure we could help you in your fight too and would willingly do so!

    Will be happy to discuss the issue with you if you feel the need as you are certainly correct in the fact regarding it becoming a very big issue for us all.

  80. Hi Ange, great to hear from you. What a blisteringly ace, very detailed post!!!!!
    As Paul says we’d be happy to see you at the meeting at Great Barr Methodist Hall this evening (Thursday 20th). It’s clear that we genuinely local residents (and protesters) have much common ground with regard to unwanted proposed development across the wider Great Barr area; and Paul and myself would indeed be very interested in discussing the issue with yourself and other residents from Booths Lane, Ashworth Road, Bowman Road, Caddick Road and Sandy Lane.
    If we’d have been aware of the meeting taking place at Glenmead Primary, we would certainly have turned up to show our support for you our good neighbours in your fight against Taylor Wimpey etc.

  81. Thank you for your responses and comments…Paul and Steve, it is unfortunate that you did not know about our meeting and your presence would have been most welcome. If you wish to email your concerns, then I urge you to do so as soon as possible please, the BCC files state public consultation period ended 30th Jan, but please ignore this, due to amended plans being submitted by Taylor Wimpey we have had a little more time make responses…but that was our last meeting.

    It is my personal opinion that, while the ideal and preferred scenario would be to have no developments take place on the Booths Lane site, sadly development of some sort WILL happen so I think it is more about pressing for the amount of housing to be reduce considerably so that the impact on traffic and services are kept to a minimum.

    Thank you for your invite to attend your meeting tonight, we were unaware of this. Unfortunately my partner is unwell so it is unlikely we will be able to attend but if I may, I would like to pass the meeting details and your names onto our local Labour councillors in the hope that they might be interested in attending and speaking to you, but fear this could be too short a notice. We unfortunately do not receive details or information regarding the GHB developments, do not receive the Great Barr Observer etc so have to rely on trawling the internet, following blogs such as this one and the BAG facebook page to get any info, but more often than not, the details come too late for us to act upon.

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