A surprisingly busy agenda to get through last week.
Acocks Green Conservation Area
There have been plans to establish another conservation area in Acocks Green for a number of years and it looks like it could be getting closer. A conservation area allows greater control over the look of a defined area, because it has special historical or architectural value. This is given weight when planning applications are decided and permitted development rights are also usually withdrawn, requiring the owner to seek planning permission (for which there is no charge). It doesn't mean that changes can't be made, rather that special consideration is given before they are approved.
We already have one around the Three Magpies on School Road, which is a fine example of a 1930s' pub and is surrounded by housing of the period. The area around Arden Road, Sherbourne Road and along the Yardley Road to the junction with Douglas Road represents the development of Acocks Green as a railway suburb of Birmingham in the period around the turn of the 19th/20th century (when it was still in Worcestershire).
Thanks to government cutbacks, Birmingham only has two conservation specialists remaining in our planning department and the city council isn't able to progress new proposals, so a local group have retained Joe Holyoak - a specialist - to progress the proposal to the point where the city council can take a decision. Hopefully, we should be able to go out to consultation early in the New Year with the local community and we could see a decision by the City Council cabinet by summer 2014.
Environmental Health Feedback
We had a brief from Kate Stanley, our ward EHO, where we talked about fly tipping, litter and whether we have the power to carry out enforcement action against the Canals and Rivers Trust.
We're continuing to look at the services that the council offers, in the light of ongoing government cuts and we need your views. What should we stop doing? What should we prioritise? As a council, we have to live within the money provided by the government - raising council tax to fill the gap isn't an option. Your views inform this process, so that we can come back with a detailed budget proposal for 2014/15.
Find more details here.
Current applications were discussed and it was agreed that the committee would object to the new proposal for 20 Dudley Park Road (2013/07567/PA).
Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum
The annual grant was approved for this local group, which is an excellent example of a residents' association in the ward - although it actually stretches over into South Yardley across to the east side of the canal.