Beacon Action Group responds to Lapworth Architects community benefit statement

Beacon Action Group gives an initial response to Lapworth Architects recently published Community Benefit Statement for Great Barr Hall

English Heritage have set out a number of ground rules that make provision in exceptional circumstances for any development within a green belt, when a historic asset needs to be restored and when no other funding source is available. To enable this to happen, minimal development can be allowed, the profit from which funds the restoration. However, this profit is considered to be public money due to the dis-benefit to residents that arises from the development.

In the case of Great Barr Hall the owners want to turn what little ruinous remains are left into a new and extremely large building that will have very little historic connection to its original design and use.

The price residents will have to pay for this £15-20 million business enterprise is enormous and will bring considerable dis-benefit to the community, for many reasons, not least the construction of a new 59 dwelling estate and 500 seated banqueting/conference centre.

English Heritage rules for allowing enabling development are clear – all new development must be kept to an absolute minimum and the benefit to the public must be greater than sustaining the loss of green belt and open spaces forever.

Residents need to consider therefore, whether the benefits outlined will really exist and whether they are being exaggerated. This rosy picture for the future of the hall and estate will mainly benefit the new owners but the neighbours in both Sandwell and Walsall will share the burden of this enterprise forever.

Beacon Action Group urges all interested residents to read this document carefully, the benefits outlined are those put forward by the developers as a convincing argument for their business enterprise. The community at large must be the judge.

To take a look at Lapworth Architects Community Benefits Statement visit our important links page.

About Beacon Action Group

Beacon Action Group was formed in 1983 by local residents to resist insensitive development of the Great Barr Hall Estate.
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4 Responses to Beacon Action Group responds to Lapworth Architects community benefit statement

  1. Phil Turner says:

    I live right opposite the proposed access route to the development site. I am not averse to some development to enable the historic elements of the site to be restored. However, there is no case for the development of the hotel, conference and wedding facilities. The plans for the Hall are in real terms for a new build that will have little in common with the original Hall. A 500+ place dining facility appears somewhat excessive for a 10 Bedroom Hotel. Given that here are only 50 car parking places identified on the plans I wonder where all the other people are going to park. I suppose Great Barr Golf Club could rent out extra spaces. More likely, Chapel Lane will become further choked by coaches. Seems as thought you’ll have to find another route to the M6.

  2. Jop21 says:

    Ian, I have seen your comments on a number of posts in different groups now and I have to ask… Where do you live? Do you live on Chapel Lane? Or Coronation Road? Or on the Netherhall Estate even? Because unless you do, you probably won’t be as affected by these plans as those who do live in these areas. The traffic on Chapel Lane is already busy enough, without the addition of 57 houses. And as for the Hall being restored to this wonderful Wedding/Conference Centre, I certainly don’t want to be listening to the music coming from it every weekend for the weddings it will be hosting- because that’s how I close I live!

    • ianrobo says:

      Well I live on Pheasey and any development affects us. Try getting to the M6 junction off chapel lane at rush hour for example or where do you think people will shop, doctors, schools etc ?

      So you must live on Netherhall then ? Or somewhere close and you would have been consulted during this process. Do you feel you were not ?

      BAG will confirm they were, I know the local councillors were and there was a questionnaire you could fill out.

      I am not a rep of the owners but I support the plan because I see no alternative. I do believe in the honest intentions of the owners and I believe Walsall planning can make a good deal to suit all.

      I look forward to the meeting soon and will listen to all that is said.

  3. ianrobo says:

    Good to see a clear statement and it is obvious you will be against the development as it stands. Could you please confirm what would be acceptable then ?

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