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
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
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 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.