Download the May 2009 edition of
The Balsall Heathan.
File type:application/pdf |
Warwickshire County Cricket Club moved a step closer to beginning work on their redevelopment of the cricket ground following approval from Birmingham planners recently.
The £32 million redevelopment proposal would see 14 houses demolished to make way for conference suites, a hotel, offices, housing and the redevelopment of the south pavillion and five permanent flood lights.
The proposed floodlights would stand between 15 and 20 storeys high with the width of the lights being approximateley the size of a house. Concern over the environmental issues regarding light spillage at night and the detremental impact these structures would have upon the lives of local residents during daylight are for some local residents and their associations cause for major concern.
A further issue that has been raised over the proposed development is the possible increase in traffic that could result from the extra capacity that the new pavillion might create. As well as a possible increase in traffic through the additional 4000 extra spectators attending the cricket matches many fear that the mixed usage aspect of the proposal will cause further problems. With the original proposal suggesting around 250 flats a hotel and new conference faciliities, the new development coupled with the already existing facilities in a neighbouring development could lead, many fear to traffic chaos.
Birmingham Councillors on the committee were given a second opportunity to discuss the application following a deferral due to the many possible issues effecting the highways and transportation as a result of the proposed development.
In a report back to the members, Council assistant transportation director David Bull insisted that some recent “…robust changes” meant that the redevelopment would once completed have very limited effects upon the surroundings subject to conditions. On this basis Mr Bull said of the proposal, “I am confident there is no reason for refusal”.
Following the additional reports made to the committee and in light of the concerns of the local residents the committee voted 9-4 in favour of the plan. The final decision on the application will rest with Communities Secretary Hazel Blears.
Of major concern to one of the four who opposed the planning application, councillor Ernie Hendricks was the lack of proper consultation with the local community. When quized by the councillor into the level of consultation that had taken place councill officers were unable to give an answer. In the run up to the first committee meeting to decide the applaction the Club had held two public exhibitions and had attended three local Ward meetings.
Local resident Vijay Sarathy said of the decision, “People seem to have missed the significance of the report. I am really annoyed and upset by how blind some of the committee are. The rights of the citizens have been trampled on again”.