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BIRMINGHAM: Perry Barr votes for neighbourhood plan

BIRMINGHAM: Perry Barr votes for neighbourhood plan

Credit: Jo Spencer

Perry Barr residents have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a plan to turn part of the ward into a “garden suburb” and address flooding risks.

A referendum was held yesterday on the Beeches, Booths and Barr (3Bs) Neighbourhood Plan – which was backed by 93 per cent of voters.

It will now become part of city planning policy, meaning principles such as restrictions around new plans to pave over driveways – a measure intended to reduce flooding risk – will come into force.

Some 1,200 people voted, with 1,116 voting for and 78 voting against with six spoiled ballot papers.

The plan roughly covers the area of the ward north of the River Tame and does not include landmarks in the south of the ward such as the One Stop Shopping Centre.

Principles of the plan include:

* Home-owners will be discouraged from further paving over of front gardens, thought to have contributed to flooding. Planning applications will have to show consideration has been made to address water run-off

* Improving the connections between Perry Park, Perry Hall Park, Turnberry Park and Kingsdown Park to boost usage

* Funding is sought to replant trees and new developments must include the planting of trees on the street and other spaces

* Improvement of shopping areas including around Tower Hill

Cllr Jon Hunt (Lib Dem, Perry Barr), who has helped develop the plan since 2015, said: “This is a huge vote of confidence in these proposals, developed by the local community for the local community.

“People in this part of the city have so often felt ignored in consultation – it is terrific that now the community is taking its future into its own hands.

“Can I thank those who took the trouble to vote on a wet autumn day and in particular those residents who have worked so hard on this project over the last five years?

“This part of Great Barr and Perry Barr has huge potential with amazing parks and gardens – it has also faced many problems dating back to its development in the 1930s and culminating in the big flood of 2016.

“Naming ourselves Birmingham’s first garden suburb sets out our hope that it will return to being a green and pleasant neighbourhood.

“There will be a lot of work to do now to make the plan a reality. We look forward to working with the planning department in doing this.”

Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Democracy Reporter

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