Russells Hall parking: new controls to ease problems for residents

From Brierley Hill Area Committee: Concerns have been raised about the amount of both patients and hospital staff members choosing to park on the carriageway and footway in streets around Russells Hall Hospital. This parking obstructs the movement of both motorists and pedestrians, and prevents vehicle access to driveways. It also causes great difficulties for bus services in the area.

The following Traffic Regulations Orders (TROs) have been publicly advertised to seek observation: (plans shown in Appendix A). Continue reading Russells Hall parking: new controls to ease problems for residents

Planning inspector’s report on Brierley Hill published

The report of the planning inspector, Vincent Maher, has been published and is overwhelmingly supportive of the Brierley Hill Area Action Plan, but deletes references to ‘strategic wildlife corridors’ to replace them with ‘wildlife corridors’ in order to make the policy easier to understand and adds in a paragraph that developers must take account of the possible potential of coal extraction as part of their plans.

Key tasks prior to major development remain the introduction of a car park charging regime at Merry Hill and the introduction of improvements in public transport and surely the focus will now shift to moving ahead on these initiatives now.

You can read the inspectors report below. Continue reading Planning inspector’s report on Brierley Hill published

Car Parking update: Bell Street and High Street

The February meeting of the Brierley Hill Town Centre Partnership received an update on parking issues in the town centre.

Concern had been expressed that parking on both sides of Bell Street South was making the road difficult to navigate.  Engineers from the council pointed out that parking limits had been planned for the street as part of the new Venture Way proposals.  However, local councillors had opposed the Bell Street proposal as they felt workers needed somewhere to park.  The restrictions were therefore not advanced.

Concern about parking of private hire cars at the upper end of the High Street (near Concord Market) had also been expressed, with a view that this was damaging the economic health of that part of the town as passing custom had no space to pull in.  It was confirmed that this area was not a taxi rank.  Private hire vehicles had to be treated in the same way as any other vehicle and subject to the same enforcement.

Area Action Plan nearing completion

Brierley Hill Area Action Plan – a key planning document which will guide future developments in the area – is reaching its final run in to adoption following an ‘Examination in Public’ held at Dudley Council House in December.  Planners are now looking to formally adopt the plan this summer.

The proposed plan which will guide the creation of over 10,000 new jobs, a significant expansion of the Merry Hill Centre, the building of over 3,000 new homes in the area, and the introduction of more leisure and community facilities, was subject to questioning by Inspector Vincent Maher during a week of meetings and visits.

Community groups, council officials, traders, environmentalists, developers and landlords all attended the examination.

Overall the process was very positive – not a surprise given the amount of consultation that has taken place over the last decade.

Points of debate centred around how to improve public transport to the town, how to enhance the High Street, the impact of the introduction of car park charging at Merry Hill, how best to protect and enhance wildlife in the area and  the role of manufacturing within the plan.

Mr Maher is now considering his report on whether the plan conforms to national requirements and is realistic in its delivery prospects.  His report should be available at the end of this month, February.

All being well the plan should be ready for adoption this summer and the hard work of implementing it will gain a further boost.

Community Forum open meeting discusses car parking and transport

Tuesday saw local residents being given their chance to have a say on parking issues in Brierley Hill town centre when the Community Forum’s open meeting met at Bank Street Methodist Church.  Those attending the meeting heard that the introduction of car park charging at Merry Hill was, for legal reasons, some time off.  But there are exisiting parking problems in the town which needed to be tackled. Continue reading Community Forum open meeting discusses car parking and transport

Brierley Hill Community Forum – next Tuesday, 9th February 4.30pm

The starting time of next meeting of Brierley Hill Community Forum has been brought forward to 4.30 pm to accommodate visiting speakers.

The main item of businesss on the agenda is car parking in the area.  Dudley’s engineer with responsibility for car parking, Martyn Holloway, will be in attendace to listen to residents concerns.

Car parking working party – 11th February

  Brierley Hill Town Centre Partnership has established a working party to look at parking issues in the town.

Despite media speculation the introduction of car park charging at Merry Hill will not take place for several years yet.

The partnership heard that despite this there were a number of concerns relating to car parking within the town – in particular parking on residential streets causing a nuisance to residents whilst car parks remain under used.

The informal working party which involves representatives of the council, the police, the town’s community forum and the partnership will meet on 11th February to identify the issues, work out a plan to engage with local communities and to come up with potential solutions to the problems.

Cllr Angus Adams, Dudley’s lead member for transportation said:

“The council recognises that there are issues in the Brierley Hill area and we are keen to listen to residents problems.

“It is not always possible to come up with perfect solutions, but with good sense all around we hope to work with the local community to see what can be done to make things better.”

Picture: lunch time Monday and Brierley Hill’s Level Street Car Park remains almost empty whilst residential streets are full

Area Action Plan progress note

Nicki Dale, principle planning officer at Dudley MBC, gave a presentation to the Town Centre Partnership on progress with the Area Action Plan – a crucial document which will guide developments in Brierley Hill for the next 20 years.

Continue reading Area Action Plan progress note

Car parking progress

Council officers are progressing on getting an early strategy in place to manage car parking in the Brierley Hill area.  A 15 minute walking zone around the Merry Hill Centre has been identified in consultation with police and a working part of the Town Centre Partnership has been set up to identify the best ways on engaging with the community to determine the best way forwards.

The move is to ensure that any wider parking issues when charging is introduced at Merry Hill are identified in advance and plans put in place to deal with them.

It should be noted that there are no immediate plans to implement charging at Merry Hill and no implementation date has been determined.

Car Parking Update

Car parking charges will have to be introduced at Merry Hill before any further retail developments can take place there.  This is an unavoidable planning condition resulting from the West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy – the key planning document against which local plans and development proposals are tested.  Suggestions that Westfield, the managers of Merry Hill, had no intention of implementing the charges are not correct.  However there are many leasing issues to be dealt with before such charges can be introduced and as such no firm date for implementation can be given, but it is definitely not imminent.

Of course it is important that the impact of such an introduction of car parking is carefully planned for.  The council and Westfield have been working on this for some time.  At the September meeting of the Town Centre Partnership a small working party which included representatives of traders, the police and community groups was created to look at minimising any negative impact on the local population.  A further report should be available at the next BHTCP meeting on 5th November.