Author Topic: REF: Seven Capital. Comments to be presented on behalf of the Forum  (Read 210 times)

midweb

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2018/10370/PA
Land at Hazelwell Lane

These comments are presented on behalf of Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum. Although we have made contact with Seven Capital on numerous occasions we have never been consulted prior to the current planning applications being made and all invitations issued by us to Seven Capital to meet with residents and businesses at meetings or events organised by the Forum have been rebuffed or ignored.
By their own admission this application is in respect of ‘Stirchley Retail Park’ a concept which was rejected by Birmingham planners at the early stages of the Tesco applications. Within those applications (and that from Asda) there was evidence from retail experts that the nearby Coop supermarket was over trading and would not be affected by another large supermarket. The world has moved on since that time but where is the independent evidence supporting this application to analyse the current trading in Stirchley and to show the effect of the proposed development on existing businesses and future development in Stirchley?
The number of car parking spaces suggests that this development is intended to be yet another retail park that is not designed to meet the needs of the local population which would be a missed opportunity and will not meet future needs of what was once a vibrant High Street and could be again with appropriate vision, planning and investment.
Some of our residents support the inclusion of a cut price supermarket which could be a magnet to encourage local people to shop locally and draw people from a wider area. To which end car parking for up to 3 hours would enable people to park to use local facilities such as hairdressers and the range of smaller stores which have been a recent welcome addition to the High Street.
There is little if any support for a drive through anything on the site. The development will not benefit local residents and see an increase in traffic at a point where it is least needed. The Forum has long protested against any new take away establishments along the High Street due to the already high concentration. There is no doubt that, having driven through the take away, drivers will then either double back into the car park or park in side streets to consume what they have bought and then leave their rubbish behind.
There is some support for the provision of a gym on the site to support health and wellbeing in the community, but only if it is affordable for local residents and how about provision of a swimming pool?   
There are issues with pedestrian and cyclist access to and across the site and along the pavement on Pershore Road. Direct access to the cycle path and Hazelwell Park is welcomed but what is proposed will mean that both will have to dice with traffic using various parts of the car park on their way through the site. It is proposed that there will be two traffic lanes leaving the site (into a one-way street) and no traffic lights to facilitate pedestrians moving along Pershore Road and crossing the junction to access the High Street. It seems the pedestrian crossings across Pershore Road are not confirmed and it is not clear what provision will be made for residents and visitors to the houses in Pershore Road immediately opposite the development.
Stirchley United Working Mens Club is a long-standing and well-known local facility which has suffered through being at the back of a derelict site. In any new development the establishment needs to well within sight of the entrance from Pershore Road with good pedestrian, vehicle and cyclist access.
Provision of smaller units at the British Oak part of the site is welcomed, if they are to be affordable and depending on the design and impact on the Grade 2 listed British Oak public house.
Provision of public realm would be welcomed. This would provide a much-needed focus for Stirchley, providing a visible and accessible space for community events and would be welcomed by the community.