Well, that’s a bit of a surprise: the planners at Bromsgrove District Council are standing up to the developers who have gated off a planned public right of way through Barnt Green.
As readers may recall, despite being told by Bromsgrove to remove the locked gates from its plans, Cala Homes went ahead and built them anyway after the gates were “inadvertently approved”.
We feared the council would roll over in the face of Cala’s refusal to rectify the lack of access, with the developer saying the right of way was only ever an “aspiration”.
But now Bromsgrove’s head of planning has been to look for herself and ruled there should be public access through the estate to Cherry Hill Road and the Lickey Hills.
Cala has been told this and also urged to install better footway lighting to ensure villagers using the public footpath will be safe in the dark.
We applaud this resolute approach and look forward to following it to its conclusion in the new year.
And we hope the same pressure will be brought to bear in the centre of Alvechurch, where villagers have seen the proud chimneys atop a “heritage asset” removed – along with the period iron guttering, now substituted with dismal, modern white plastic.
Bromsgrove’s conservation officer has called for the chimneys and guttering on the former post office building – constructed in the 19th century to house Alvechurch Grammar School – to be reinstated.
She has been backed by Alvechurch Parish Council, members of which have watched aghast as the building was gutted and the Royal Mail was forced to seal the village’s main post box because of fears for public safety from the building work.
Now they are waiting for Bromsgrove’s planning control team to follow the advice of their own conservation officer to take action.
As one district councillor said at the parish council meeting: “If they do not enforce the rules, what is the point of the council?“ We shall all be watching.
Everyone at The Village would like to wish all of you a very happy Christmas (yes, we imagine quite a few will be reading this before the 25th) and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
The majority of you will be looking forward with renewed enthusiasm after the results of the 12th – none more so than our re-elected MP, who appears to have backed the right horse – while many of you will be worrying about how this could all turn out.
Maybe by this time next year we will all know who can say: “We told you so.”