Author Topic: Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum Minutes of the meeting held on 13th May  (Read 295 times)


  • Administrator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum
Minutes of the meeting held on 13th May 2019
, Stirchley Community Church
Present:   37: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Members of the Forum’s management committee, Cllr Locke
Apologies:   3
Peter Walker took the chair and welcomed everyone to the meeting. The minutes of the meeting held on 8th April 2019 were circulated and agreed as a true record.
Matters arising
Bournville Lane flooding: Cllr Locke has set up a meeting on 20th May with local residents, council officers and the Environment Agency to discuss measures to alleviate the problem.
Dads Lane Community Association: SC reported meetings of interested parties were ongoing; she proposed the Forum support these where possible, as the Association is a community asset and local venue.
Policing update
Sgt Sam Bonehill updated the Forum on recent activity. 
New team members: Sgt Bonehill introduced PCSO Lisa, PC Paul Rimell and Inspector David Murray, formerly of the RAF, who will be with Bournville for 4 weeks as part of a new direct entry system.   
Drugs warrants: a number of warrants have been executed recently; please share any information which may help WMP interrupt the supply of drugs into the local area. ANPR information is particularly valuable.
Burglaries and car thefts: there have been 4 arrests for burglaries, 3 related to Greenoak Crescent. Once again residents were asked to share any information that could identify perpetrators. 
Dashcams continue to be stolen by opportunistic thieves; also shed break-ins.
Former firework shop: 2 males who were using the derelict building as a base have been arrested. Ashley Carter has received a suspended sentence with conditions to stay away from the area overnight and Dean Perry has been committed to the Crown Court.   
Following the recent fire, Cllr Locke contacted BCC Planning Enforcement who declared the building structurally sound; a section 125 order has been served on the London based owner requiring them to make immediate improvements or BCC will take possession. 
Traffic offences: WMP continue to enforce the new 20 mph speed limit and issue parking tickets.
Sgt Bonehill has been in contact with Jenny Coombs, BCC Senior Transportation Officer with responsibility for Transportation Behavioural Change. JC has agreed to install more 20 mph signage on Cartland Road. PCSO Blackford invited JC to speak at a Forum meeting; she initially declined as new signage had already been agreed but PCSO Blackford will send another invitation as there are still many concerns about the 20 mph zones, including dangerous overtaking by motorists.
PCSO Blackford explained the 20 mph zones are a 3 year trial in south Birmingham which will run until November 2021. Further signage may be considered after the trial period.
A resident questioned how success of the trial would be measured; PCSO Blackford explained the principal aim was to calm traffic and encourage more walking and cycling. Concerns were raised about increased pollution caused by driving in low gears.   
ASB on Sparrey Drive: a local resident reported finding large numbers of miniature vodka bottles in the woodland area.
Houses of Multiple Occupation      
Barry Toon from the Selly Oak residents’ group addressed the Forum on issues around HMOs. BT explained HMOs now dominated the Bournbrook area, where family housing has been converted to HMOs to serve the student population. Conversions are often poorly carried out, with inadequate thermal or sound insulation creating very low quality rented accommodation for people on low incomes. Aesthetically, the proliferation of extensive loft conversions has blighted the traditional roofscape of terraced houses. The creation of 7/8 bed houses from 3 bed homes also puts pressure on local services such as water, drainage, gas and broadband. When students move out in July, up to 100 tonnes of rubbish are dumped onto the streets, which then has to be dealt with by BCC. Students are also a target for burglars, and Bournbrook has a higher than average rate for burglaries.  BT suggested HMO landlords are driven purely by a drive to generate the maximum income from a property, and any profit they make is taken out of the local area. 
BT outlined recent research which shows student numbers are now declining, and in areas where de-studentification takes place, HMOs switch from student accommodation to supported housing for asylum seekers, ex-offenders and people with mental health conditions. Rooms are let on individual tenancies, which can lead to conflict between residents who are not being adequately supervised. BT stated there were already signs this was happening in Bournbrook, with landlords putting properties on the market for £400K to realise their profits.
BT explained the aims of the Article 4 Area Planning Controls that have been introduced in areas around Bournbrook: these seek to remove the permitted development rights around HMOs where more than 10% of properties within a 100m radius are already HMOs. Stirchley is not in the area covered by the directive, but BCC may extend the system citywide within the next 12 months.
SC stated there were 4 current applications for HMOs in Stirchley, including an 11 bed property on Ripple Rd that was not student housing and was likely to be supported living. BT suggested residents based objections around parking, density of occupation and lack of amenity space; if more than 7 individual objections are received – not including petitions – then the application will go to committee which gives an opportunity to speak against it. SC also questioned whether there was any current research to support the assertion in planning applications that there was demand for student housing in Stirchley. 
BCC holds a public register of HMOs but SC noted it was not completely up to date. Once an HMO has been approved, local residents should report any problems to WMP and BCC; it may be possible to have the HMO licence removed.
In response to a question from a resident, SC explained some HMO applications were rejected but none had been recently; she added HMOs in Stirchley appeared to generate very few complaints. A BCC officer should carry out a renewal inspection of all HMOs but as there are only 10 licensing inspectors it was unlikely conditions on all properties were being checked.   
Planning update      
Seven Capital: SC read out her proposed comments on behalf of the Forum on the planning application; this included the following points: the absence of any community consultation despite several invites from the Forum; a lack of analysis of current trade in Stirchley; opposition to the drive through as the Forum opposes any new takeaways; support for a gym if it is affordable; questions about local community benefit; concerns about increased traffic; poor pedestrian and cycle access to the site across the Pershore Rd with no confirmed pedestrian crossings; a request for up to 3 hours free parking; provision of public realm for community events; parking bays for houses across the Pershore Rd from the site; a proposal for small low cost units adjacent to the British Oak. 
Susan Maclean from STWF reported most traders were in favour of the scheme, but agreed the need for pedestrian crossings and works to improve the derelict triangle site.
A representative of Super Stirchley questioned what effect this application would have on 2 other supermarket applications at either end of the high street; SC confirmed these would likely be rejected if the Seven Capital proposal goes ahead.
One resident was disappointed the proposed supermarket was described as “budget”. Another raised the lack of vehicular connection between the retail and residential sites, and noted there were only 2 roads giving access to the proposed new houses. The lack of any affordable housing was also raised; Seven Capital have said this is not economically viable but without it residents questioned how the development would contribute to a balanced and vibrant community.
Following a suggestion by Cllr Locke, SC will add in concerns about the access road to Stirchley United; another resident requested concerns about surface flooding are also included.
PW thanked SC for all her work in producing the comments.

Japanese knotweed: residents were asked to check their gardens for this invasive weed.
Upcoming events
Saturday 1st June, Stirchley Fete at Stirchley Baths
Date of the next meeting
Monday 10th June, 7.30 pm in Stirchley Community Church

Disclaimer notice on behalf of the Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum Management Committee
1. The Management Committee does not normally have prior knowledge of items which will be raised as Any Other Business, but the Management Committee will help facilitate such items where it does have prior knowledge, and which are in the interests of Stirchley.
2. The Forum is not aligned to any political party or one group and hence will hold a neutral stance in all political items which are raised at the meetings; the Forum may take a stance (positive/negative) on planning applications discussed at the meeting or on changes to community/neighbourhood services which affect the Forum area
3. The Forum’s Management Committee will not allow a person or organisation to use the Forum’s meeting as a means to any political end.
4. All residents and businesses within the Forum’s area have the right to attend and speak at the meeting.  Business owners, not resident within the forum area, have a right to attend and speak at SNF meetings, but they cannot make up quorum.
5. The Forum or its Management Committee will not be held responsible for leaflets or other media which is handed out by third parties either at or following the Forum’s meeting.  The views of any such leaflets or other communication are those of the distributor/publisher and not necessarily those of the Neighbourhood Forum.