Saturday 29 December 2012

Our response to the latest Selly Oak Regeneration plan proposed for Sainsbury's

The Friends of Selly Oak Park
Object to, and do not support, the “refreshed” Selly Oak Regeneration plans as presented in December 2012, since they omit the watered canal included in the planning application submitted in March 2012.

The Friends of Selly Oak Park URGE the developers and planners towards:

·    First and foremost, the inclusion of a fully watered canal across the proposed development area.

·    To forsake established retail park models, and embrace a more imaginary, creative, holistic and inclusive approach to design with the canal as a fortuitous FOCUS for the development.

·    To capitalise upon, the rich – but often ignored - historical and archaeological setting of the site.

·    To observe the success of canal developments in other areas, and to learn from, and capture, the added value and benefits such a canal feature affords (e.g. Reading, Leeds, Stalybridge, and Droitwich).

·    To link the development into the needs of the local and adjacent community.

·    To have regard to the longer term possibilities of the development in conjunction with other local sites (Dingle, Selly Oak Hospital, Selly Oak Triangle, Pebble Mill and Old QE sites). We call on BCC to take a lead in providing a coherent vision for the whole area rather than the current piecemeal approach.

·    To take a holistic approach when engaging with local interested parties and groups.

·    To extend the same holistic approach to the consideration of the needs of local amenities such as Selly Oak park, Bournbrook recreation ground and Selly Oak Library, and their role in complementing the development.

·    To see the project as a Visitor attraction rather than just a retail / science park.

·    To consider the benefits of the canal and local history elements in the attractiveness of the name for the site/project, e.g. building on heritage of “Harborne Wharf” as a concept.

In summary we urge the developers and planners to consider the two canals (Worcester and Birmingham & Lapal) and associated historical sites as key elements in the development, to work together and with local groups to design the retail, recreation, and residential aspects around these features while reserving some space for mixed (science park / offices / hotels etc).

Thursday 20 December 2012

Seasonal Greetings

The Friends of Selly Oak Park wish all their neghbours, suppporters and website readers a happy Christmas and a successful New Year.

We hope to see you in the Park again during 2013.  We have plans for more developments and improvements and we shall be pursuing a Green Flag award.

As a group we will continue to cherish the Park's past, relish its present, and plan for its future, so that it remains a premier open space for the local community for ever.

It just needs you to use it so we don't lose it. 
Please help and support us.

Friday 14 December 2012

Latest Battery Site / Sainsbury's development

The Friends of Selly Oak Park are aware of new plans for the Battery Site / Sainsbury's Selly Oak. We understand that the plan preserves the route of the Lapal Canal but it does not allow for an actual canal. We believe the new proposed route will be difficult to navigate - if it was ever actually implemented. While the plan does not include a watered canal we are reluctant to give it our support.

You can view the proposals and COMMENT at the following link -

Saturday 8 December 2012

Carols in the Park - A great Success

Thanks to everyone who helped and who took part in this first Christmas venture which exceeded our expectations by a substantial margin - between 150-200 people thoroughly enjoyed themselves, sang well - well accompanied by superb musicians, and then refreshed themselves with tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cakes and mince pies provided by the Ariel Scouts. 

We are encouraged to do it all again next year.