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.
AT its meeting on 5th November the Brierley Hill Town Centre Partnership was pleased to hear that Dudley Council are continuing to press ahead with the ‘full’ bid for Town Centre improvements to Advantage West Midlands.
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.
A £7.85m bid for funding from Advantage West Midlands to improve Brierley Hill High Street is being put forward by Dudley Council. Continue reading Bid for High Street improvement funds
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.