Stockfield Community Association and Acocks Green Baptist Church have issued a response to their recent opinon survey. Incidentally, if you have not yet completed that (see top of our previous post here) it is clear this debate is going to run for some time – our advice would just be to get it in now anyway.
The whole of the new three page letter from Stockfield and Acocks Green Baptists, sent those who have responded to their questionnaire is available for download by clicking here We have added a few boxes to draw your attention to controversial points.
Page 2 – Box 1 ‘The Glynn Edwards Hall is not itself listed’. (This point is repeated several more times in the document.) This is untrue. The Glynn Edwards Hall is not statutorily listed. It is locally listed Grade A. A local listing is still a listing. A listing at this level denotes a building of a quality capable of achieving statutory listing. A local listing does not automatically preclude demolition. However, what it does mean is that the Council Planning Committee will consider any plans brought before it very carefully indeed in the light of that high local listing. A plan for a replacement building can still be refused. That SCA and AGBC are trying to conceal this local listing status is worrying. At planning stage this point will be noted and they will not be allowed to continue to deny it. Meantime we will be giving this present little economy with the truth maximum publicity.
Page 2 – Box 2 Which local groups have called for the destruction of the main hall space? A number of local groups are concerned about this loss of space in an area where we have no village hall. It would be interesting to see a list of local groups (apart, presumably, from SCA and AGBC) who want this.
It is highly questionable whether removing the middle building is beneficial to the statutorily listed buildings on either side. From a Conservation point of view the view of the buildings either side will be seriously affected in this exercise. It is very interesting that it is noted that ‘Conservation focus’ (Who are they. Could we at least try and get our terminology right? Would that be a reference to Conservation officers by any chance?) have been consulted. We note that we are, ahem, not advised on what they actually said … Come on Stockfield, come on Acocks Green Baptists. We need a little more openness than this.
Page 3 – Box 3 ‘The vision’ does not ‘serve the prime needs of the area’ which are to have a large hall available as a village hall and to maintain that hall’s present attractive and welcoming exterior which blends in well as part of the face of primarily Victorian to nineteen-thirties Acocks Green. Comments we have received suggest that if this plan were to go ahead the new building would experience a down-turn in use.