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.
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).
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.
The designation of Brierley Hill High Street as a conservation area will help to maintain the best of its buildings and provide a framework for the much needed improvements in the area – supporting the development of a special Brierley Hill sense of place as the regeneration of the area progresses – said Pete Boland, Principle Conservation Officer at Dudley Council in addressing the town’s new Civic Society.
Mr Boland showed slides illustrating the characterisation research which had taken place prior to designating the area as a conservation area. These revealed a surprising number of high quality, attractive buildings which gave an insight into the historic development of the area and gave Brierley Hill a character of its own.
The distinctive quality buildings will be afforded extra protection as a conservation area and plans will be taken forward to improve the environment in the High Street, integrate new development appropriately to maintain the distinctiveness of the town – by for example using local materials for construction- and will be underpinned by the use of planning controls.
An action plan has been produced and a grant application has been made to the Regional Development Agency for funding to commence the environmental improvements.
Bats, Kingfishers, Watervoles and other special species will get their own regeneration proposals with the new Brierley Hill Area Action Plan to be published by Dudley Council on 30th November.
Speaking at a meeting of Brierley Hill Civic Society Nicki Dale, principle planning officer with Dudley Council, described the surprising number special species of wildlife which have been identified in the area. These include bats, black redstarts, dingy skippers, great crested newts with little legs, green hairstreaks, kingfishers and watervoles.Continue reading Bats, Kingfishers and Watervoles get their own regeneration plan!
Speaking at a meeting of Brierley Hill Civic Society Nicki Dale, principle planning officer at Dudley Council, set out the time table for adoption of this crucial plan which will guide the physical regeneration of the area. The draft plan will be published on 30th November 2009 and a period of consultation lasting until 15th January 2010 will follow. An examination in public of the plan will take place in November next year. Continue reading Brierley Hill Area Action Plan timetable