Birmingham Core Strategy & Acocks Green – Your Chance to Speak

January 24th, 2011

The Birmingham Core Strategy Document is a new twenty year framework plan for Birmingham with individual sections for each suburb. Your comments are asked for. You have until March 18 to give them. The Acocks Green section is here and the main website for the document is here There will be an exhibition were you can make your comments at

ACOCKS GREEN LIBRARY THURSDAY 10th FEBRUARY 9.15am – 4.45pm

or at the Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum meeting, 7.30, Thursday 10 Feburary, at the Glynn Edwards Hall (Corner of Yardley Road and Alexander Road, Acocks Green.)

If you live in the Fox Hollies Green Neighbourhood Forum area the document will be discussed at their next meeting on Monday 7 Feburary.

We give an outline of some points which affect Acocks Green, below, and our comments.

Implications of these Policies for Acocks Green.

Positive

The existing proposals for the Smart Route in the centre of Acocks Green are supported in the proposals. There are details here that still need to be worked out but, in principle, this mean investing considerable money in the Village Centre it seems the likely first step in the development of the Smart Route through Acocks Green will be the implementation of a single carriageway in the centre, smoothing traffic flow and making the area more shopper friendly with more space for pedestrians, trees, car parking etc. Such improvement proposals are becoming particularly urgent in the light of the new Tesco’s Development to Open in Yardley in 2012. This development, as revealed at the Yardley Constituency meeting a few days ago will have car parking for 863, a landscaped plaza with specimen trees, and a shopping mall with 21 shops as well as the large Tesco’s shop itself.

Worrying

There is a possibility that the policy on Convenience Stores could allow another large supermarket to be developed in the vicinity. Pointing out that supermarkets are not the only answer would help.

High levels of new housing are proposed and this is combined with high densities. Put this together with the emphasis on protecting Mature Suburbs and Conservation Areas elsewhere and we are likely to get further, poorly designed, high density flats and garden grabbing within an unprotected Acocks Green. We should compare this with higher standards in Olton (e.g. the current development on the Warwick Road in Olton, on the site of the former Fleming Hotel.

Alternatives We Could Ask For

The section on Acocks Green should recognise the high quality and unique character of the suburb and should seek to protect that so that it continues to provide the diverse range of housing requirements for its existing population and is seen as a place people aspire to live rather than one they aspire to move through on their way to Solihull. In order to help achieve this there should be a new set of policies which involve declaring Acocks Green as a Mature Suburb and parts of it as a Conservation Area. In addition a local housing market assessment should be undertaken as a priority to guide the future type and size of housing development in Acocks Green.

So: In a Nutshell we think Acocks Green should ask for:

  • Acocks Green to become a designated Mature Suburb (which brings extra protection)
  • Parts of Acocks Green to become a Conservation Area
  • Undertake local housing market assessment for Acocks Green and not allow any new development until this is completed and then require new housing development to comply with a policy framework developed from the assessment.
  • Strengthen policy in relation to convenience shopping to restrict further supermarket development in the area.
  • Support the single carriageway proposal for the A41/Wawick Road.

Acocks Green at the moment is hanging in a balance. We have the potential to become an area where people really want to live: one with an attractively laid out, accessible, shopping centre and and a place which preserves plenty of greenery and trees and buildings of character … or we could retain our present busy, noisy and sometimes dangerous main High Street, with its limited parking and we could begin to lose more of our surrounding heritage with more buildings of character being demolished and more attractive suburban gardens with mature trees (visible and enjoyed by everyone) disappearing. Your choice – join us and send your thoughts to the Council on the links provided above by 18 March.

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