Regeneration plans move step closer as Joint Core Strategy examination concludes

The implementation of regeneration plans in Brierley Hill and the Black Country moved a step closer with the ‘Joint Core Strategy’ examination in public by planning inspectors in July.
The Joint Core Strategy is a key plan which sets out how the Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils plan to work together to regeneration the area. It states how the four councils and other partners will work together to tackle challenges included providing new homes, creating new jobs, improving the environment, and enhancing transportation in the region whilst driving up educational standards.
Statutory Local plans – such as the Brierley Hill Area Action Plan – have to fit in with the joint core strategy.
A meeting of Brierley Hill Town Centre Partnership (2nd September) heard from senior Dudley Council planners that the enquiry had gone well. Inspectors had seemed impressed with the regeneration plans drawn up jointly by the four Black Country boroughs and the unity of the four authorities. The inspectors’ report is due in October and the Brierley Hill Area Action Plan examination in public is set to take place in December of this year.
More information on the Joint Core Strategy can be found at:

What do you think the new Brierley Hill should look like?

As one of the key regeneration areas in the West Midlands Brierley Hill is expected to provide over 3,000 new homes, an increase in shopping facilites and 250 thousand square metres of new offices.  Transport improvements are also planned.

Already new buildings have been constructed: the £25 million new Health and Social Care Centre, the Merry Hill £24 million food court ‘Eat Central, and the new Brierley Hill Creative Industries Campus for Stourbridge College.  Improvements to transport are already underway with the completion of the £28 million Venture Way.

But it as old Brierley Hill, Merry Hill and the Waterfront are linked together it is important that the town looks and feels good, and there is a real positive sense of identity for residents and visitors.

One way of achieving this is to set out expectations that develpers will have to meet when designing new buildings.  This is done througha ‘Supplementary Planning Document’ and Dudley Council is seeking views on what this should contain now.

You can read the document and questionnaire below and have your say by 18th October 2010.  Enquiries should be addressed to

More information is available at:–planning/planning/local-development-framework/bhill-urb-des

Brierley Hill Supplementary Planning Document Report – With Answer Boxes

Everybody Looks Famous confirmed for Festival of Light

One of the acts confirmed to appear at this year’s Festival of Water and Light celebration in Brierley Hill is Everybody Looks Famous

Neighbours News saw them as the opening act at the Midlands Music Festival in Tamworth this past summer, and they are definitely one to watch out for!! You can check out their MySpace site at:

This year’s theme will be ‘pop bands of the past’ for the huge event on Sunday October 3. Thousands of people are expected to pack the Waterfront for the annual festival, now in its 12th year, which will culminate with a spectacular firework display. The event is free to attend and will include the traditional colourful boat parade as well as live music, dance groups, a funfair and craft exhibitions. Radio station Heart FM will return as this year’s media partner following their huge success over the past three years.

The Dudley Council festival is organised by CCEM who are also offering businesses and groups a fantastic opportunity to advertise their work by taking on a craft stall or boat. To apply call 08707 449701 or email





Everybody Looks Famous

Designing the new Brierley Hill: Powerpoint presentation

On 2nd September Brierley Hill Town Centre Partnership received a presentation on how the drawing up of new guidelines for Brierley Hill. View the presentation below. If you want to take part in the consultation they you can do so by going to the website:–planning/planning/local-development-framework/bhill-urb-des
Power Point Presentation – 021092010

Brierley Hill LIFT schemes wins new award

Brierley Hill’s new Health and Social Care Centre has won another prestigious national award for the quality of its design.

The LIFT national awards aim to encourage high quality health service buildings and the presentations  were made in London last Thursday, 8th July.

Dudley Infracare LIFT took the ‘Design’ award for its Brierley Hill development.  The judgest commented:

“The centre’s location on an awkward slope was resolved by careful placement of the building and floors.  Accommodation is over seven floors, with five floors above ground, one semi basement and one full basement level.

“Artwork has been incorporated creating colour, fun and a theme accessible to all.  Colours have been carefully chosen to add life to the interior spaces and make the patient journey a more positive experience.

“The confident and inspiring design, with its use of natural daylight and innovative architectural solutions, complementary colours and materials, gives a sense of optimism and wellbeing to the users and sets a precedent for future regeneration of the area.”

Dudley Infracare LIFT was also highly commended in the “Community Engagement and User Experience” category – for organisations which can demonstrate how engagement of the local community through a LIFT project has resulted in enhancement of the scheme – to complete a successful night.

Brierley Hill Design Guidance put on hold

Plans to draw up design guidance for new developments in Brierley Hill has been put on hold to late summer. 

The delay will enable the council to focus on its efforts on the Joint Core Strategy examination in public.  The Joint Core Strategy is an important planning and regeneration document which sets out how the Black Country Councils aim to tackle key issues such as jobs, housing, shopping centres in the area.

Officers will be available for consultation events in December.

Ponies 2010: See them all together on Saturday, 3rd July, Himley Park

Maska Pony from Hillcrest School
Maska Pony from Hillcrest School

There will be a first chance to see all of the 30 ponies together in their paddock, this Saturday, 3rd July 2010 at Dudley Performing Arts, Summer Festival on Saturday 3 July,  at Himley Park.  The ponies will then be placed in locations around Brierley Hill over this summer as part of a walking and exploring trail.

Entry to Himley Park will also allow you to visit the festival and to see performances by some of Dudley’s most talented young musicians, dancers, singers, orchestras, massed choirs, soloists, drummers and school music groups. 

The trail consists of 30 ponies, all dynamically different to one another, designed and decorated by local schools, colleges and artists. A map will be available to buy which shows the trail, the ponies and each participant. Follow the trail to find your favourite!

Dudley Performing Arts provides a high quality arts service that promotes opportunities for artistic and creative development across the whole community.  There is an enormous range of visual art, dance and movement, music and drama opportunities for adults and children at DPA all year round.

If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact Claire Starmer-Jones, development officer, Dudley Performing Arts on 813943. 

Urban Design in Brierley Hill Town Centre: event and consultation

How should buildings in the new Brierley Hill look?  How can design influence the ‘feel’ and viability of a town centre?  Can crime be designed out?

Brierley Hill Civic Society will be having a presentation from Dudley Council on these matters on Monday 19th July at 5.30pm at St Michael’s, Brierley Hill.  If you are interested in the future of your town please come and join us.  The council’s website explains the process of drawing up the ‘Supplementary Planning Document and this will be a chance to have your say… Continue reading Urban Design in Brierley Hill Town Centre: event and consultation

Brierley Hill Conservation Area – management proposals

For those wishing to see the proposals for the Brierley Hill town conservation area then plase click this link:–planning/planning/historic-environment/conservation-areas/brierley-hill-high-street-conservation-area The management proposals are in part B of the link

Planners reassure Brierley Hill stakeholders on jobs plan

Brierley Hill Masterplan - 15 years in the making

Moves by the new coalition government to axe Regional Spatial Strategies will NOT stop plans to bring major new building projects for Brierley Hill according to Dudley Council’s Senior Planning Policy Officer Annette Roberts.

Proposals to increase the size of the Merry Hill Centre, create over 2000 new homes and bring offices and 10,000 jobs to the area had been embeded in the West Midlands Spatial Strategy – a planning document which guides development throughout the region.

But the new government feels that Spatial Strategies are too bureacratic and restrictive for local councils and have announced plans to abolish them.  This has raised some concerns about the future of regeneration in Brierley Hill, the borough’s strategic centre.

Speaking to a meeting of Brierley Hill Town Centre Partnership Annette explained that although the regional strategy will disappear, all of the evidence which underpinned it – including the high priority to create new jobs and homes in the area – remains valid and retains the support of the four councils in the Black Country.  The councils have produced a ‘Joint Core Strategy’ which sets out how they plan to work together to regenerate the area.  The Joint Core Strategy is due to go to an examination in public in July and includes the designation of Brierley Hill as a strategic centre (together with the tests required to be passed before further major retail exapansion can take place).