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Roadworks upper gungate

RESIDENTS from Riverside in Tamworth are to benefit from around £250,000 worth of investment to improve footpaths on the estate.

Staffordshire County Council’s highways crews will be carrying out resurfacing work on footpaths in Chartwell, Godolphin, Glyndebourne, Kentwell, Lorton and Gawsworth.  The work is expected to start on 20 November 2017 and take around 19 weeks to complete.

Helen Fisher, Cabinet Support Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said: “The investment and improvement work here is great news for people in the area and I am sure residents will notice a real difference in the condition of the footpaths once the work is complete. As always, I would like to thank people for their patience and co-operation during the works.”

Access to properties and businesses will be maintained as far as possible but may be restricted at times depending on works progress, residents will be notified of any temporary closures.

building wall and hard hat

TAMWORTH Borough Council’s housing stock is being boosted by more than 40 new homes which have been built, or are in the process of being bought, as part of an ongoing commitment to tackle the borough’s need for more affordable homes.

A total of 19 new homes have been built by the council in the latest phase of a project to redevelop former garages sites across the town. Of these, four homes have now been allocated to residents on the housing register and the remaining 15 are being handed over in the coming weeks.

These modern new homes have been constructed to a high standard by MJ Fitzpatrick, in partnership with Tamworth Borough Council staff and Waterloo Housing Group. This phase follows the development of 54 affordable homes which were built on former garages sites between 2011 and 2015 in partnership with housing associations.

As well as building its own homes, Tamworth Borough Council has also been buying new-build properties on private developments across the town, which have to include a percentage of affordable housing.

As a result of this new approach:

  • Eight homes have been purchased at Swallowhirst, Freasley Lane, which have already been allocated to people who need them
  • Six homes have been bought at Saxon Manor in Amington, which will be handed over in the new year
  • Cabinet members have just approved the acquisition of another eight homes on a new development off School Lane in Dosthill

 

The council is also currently undertaking its largest house-building regeneration project for decades with the development of 141 modern new homes in place of 136 outdated properties on housing estates in Tinkers Green and the Kerria Centre.

Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Regeneration, said: “Every property we build or acquire means a new home for an individual, couple or family and we are always looking at various ways that this can be achieved for the best.

“Building our own homes and buying from private developers enables us to strengthen and enhance the council’s housing portfolio with new, modern homes that are fit for the 21st century.

“The redevelopment of Tinkers Green and the Kerria Centre is the biggest council housing programme in Tamworth for a generation and is a much-needed investment, both in the supply of council housing and in those local areas.

“Buying homes from private developers is a new approach that represents good value for money and is another way of acquiring new homes that we directly own and manage. It has worked well so far and we will continue to explore opportunities on sites in Tamworth where this may be viable.”

The creation of more affordable homes is part of an overall review of the council’s housing strategy ahead of changing legislation which comes into effect as part of the Homeless Reduction Act in April 2018.

This includes a review of the temporary accommodation available to homeless people with a view to increasing the options on offer while minimising the use of Bed and Breakfast where possible.

Councillors have approved the launch of a 12-month pilot scheme in which five council houses (depending on availability at any given time) will be used as temporary accommodation for homeless applicants, while a more permanent solution is found. This is designed to add to the range of comprehensive measures already in place to help prevent or relieve homelessness. Properties will vary depending on availability and homes will not be left empty for the purposes of the scheme.

The pilot will run from April 2, 2018, until March 29, 2019 and will then be reviewed to consider its effectiveness.

 

At the same time, the council is also developing an Emergency Accommodation Register to increase the availability of good quality, affordable temporary accommodation.

Cllr Michelle Thurgood, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Housing, said: “There are currently more than 1,500 people registered with Tamworth Borough Council seeking accommodation, which greatly exceeds the supply of houses available for those in need. Demand could rise as a result of new legal duties that will be placed on councils when the Homeless Reduction Act comes into force next year.

“We are looking at all aspects of the housing strategy in preparation for that, which means examining all the measures that are in place to help prevent people from becoming homeless, or to find them decent, suitable accommodation if they are homeless.”

building wall and hard hat

A PIONEERING public and private sector property partnership designed to benefit taxpayers is unlocking millions of pounds of assets, saving money and paving the way for new housing to be built.

Staffordshire County Council’s Corporate Review committee will hear that dozens of local authority-owned buildings or pieces of land potentially worth millions of pounds, have either been allocated to The Penda Property Partnership programme, or identified for a specific use, in the last 12 months.

Mark Deaville, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Commercial, said: “We have a duty to do the best we can with our assets for the benefit of taxpayers and in the first two years this partnership has raised £12.2 million, obtained planning permission for nearly 700 homes and, so far, reduced the running costs of using older buildings by around £300,000 a year.

“We’ve also unlocked land for a large extra care scheme in Biddulph, are about to save taxpayers millions of pounds by centralising public services in one venue in Newcastle and are considering how we can repeat that saving in other parts of the county.”

The Penda Property Partnership began operating in 2015 with a brief to look at the best use for surplus or under-used land and buildings, but each suggestion is subject to a business case and value-for-money test which has to be approved by the authority.

Other public bodies can join the group to use its expertise for specific projects.

Mark Deaville added: “The purpose is to take a fresh look at our assets and market those we no longer have use for to support new jobs, homes, healthcare and wider investment in Staffordshire.

“Money raised from this can’t be spent on the annual budget but can be used for investment. Although, in part it predates Penda, money raised from land sales since 2013 has been put towards building schools, roads, superfast broadband and extra care facilities, as well as creating industrial estates such as i54 South Staffordshire, Redhill in Stafford and Liberty Park in Lichfield to attract and safeguard new and existing jobs for the benefit of residents.”

The report will be considered by the scrutiny committee on Friday, November 3.

A PLANNING application has been submitted to North Warwickshire Borough Council for the first phase of a major development scheme just outside Tamworth.

The application submitted on behalf of national developer, St. Mowden at the end of June this year; a decision is expected shortly.

The applications for a scheme which is proposed to take place on a 35-acre site, east of junction 10 of the M42, known as Tamworth logistics park.

The development could create up to 1,700 jobs in the area.

Gregg Titley, Development Director At St. Modwen has said:

Based on the 10-year average take up for new warehouses in the West Midlands the amount of space available will be gone within one year.

The development at Tamworth Logistics Park will therefore deliver much needed accommodation in a strategic location on the M42 corridor for both distribution and manufacturing companies.

Map of proposed plan Credit: St. Mowden

Map of proposed plan (Credit: St. Mowden)

Tamworth Logistics Park is part of St. Modwen’s growing focus on the development of industrial and logistics sites in areas of high demand across the UK.

As part of the Tamworth development, St. Modwen will create a new access off Trinity Road to service the site. A substantial area of existing open space to the south-west of the site will also be retained, providing natural wildlife habitats.

If the planning application is accepted, the work onsite is due to start during the first quarter of 2018.

The application follows the recent launch of the 153,000 sq ft unit known as CP153 at St. Modwen’s Centurion Park, located adjacent to Tamworth Logistics Park, which could create up to 200 additional jobs in the area.

Dominoes

A FAST FOOD takeaway could be added to the shop frontages in Dosthill it has been revealed in recent plans submitted to the Borough Council.

Domino’s Pizza UK and Ireland have submitted a planning application to Tamworth for the erection of new signs and a remodelled shop front at the former Dosthill Saddlery on High Street, Dosthill.

In November 2015, planning permission was granted for the change of use at the former shop to a hot food takeaway and an erection of  an external flue.

At the time, it was agreed that the hours of operation would be allowed between 9am-11pm on Monday to Saturday and 10am-10pm on Sundays.

The application shows that the company are requesting the advertisement permission from 3 October 2017, which means the company could look at trading from just over a months time.

It is not clear at this stage as to whether this is in addition to, or instead of the Victoria Road takeaway.

Anyone who wishes to comment on the application can do so by visiting the Tamworth Borough Council panning portal and searching application 0398/2017.

Mercedes Car Bonnet and LSH Autos logo

TAMWORTH has been chosen as the prime location for a brand new Mercedes-Benz dealership and regional test drive facility in a major multi-million pound investment which has been described as a huge coup for the area.

LSH Auto UK Limited, the UK subsidiary of the international Lei Shing Hong Group, based in Hong Kong, is in the process of securing a five-acre plot of land south of the A5 bypass in Ventura Park where it plans to deliver a brand new Mercedes-Benz dealership, with class leading showrooms, workshops, offices and a regional test drive facility – as well as creating up to one hundred jobs for the town.

Tamworth Borough Council has played a key role in securing the investment for Tamworth and facilitating the deal between Lei Shing Hong and owners of the land, Aucotts.

The authority will now be working closely with both parties on the detailed design of the property and the wider development scheme.

Although the land already has outline planning permission for employment-generating development, including a new access off the A5 slip road, a detailed planning application is now being prepared and is expected in the autumn. The whole site is expected to create an additional 400 jobs.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration, Cllr Steve Claymore, said: “This investment is a significant coup for Tamworth and increases what is already a healthy confidence in the town as a perfectly-placed investment opportunity. LSH Auto UK Limited has chosen Tamworth for this facility due to its excellent connectivity and the strength of the existing quality offering in the area.

“This should be just the first phase of development on land south of the A5 bypass, which we hope will attract further inward investment to the town to become a major employment site and cement Tamworth’s position as a perfect place to do business on a global scale.”

The site of the proposed development is highlighted in red

The site of the proposed development is highlighted in red

Skey PArk

PLANS for a future retail and community facility in Wilnecote went on display to the public earlier this week.

Central England Co-operative have announced that the existing Co-operative supermarket at Ninian Way, Wilnecote will be closing soon. The Society has been working with Hawkstone Vale Developments Ltd to look at regenerating the site.

There is an opportunity to redevelop the whole site and bring forward a new retail and community facility. This development is proposed to be named ‘Skey Park’ and is set to show an investment of £15.2 million.

Once the site is operational, it is estimated that it will create around 234 jobs directly, with a further 105 jobs created indirectly.

This will create a net wage of around £1.6 million which could potentially increase expenditure in Tamworth.

The existing site

The existing site off Ninian Way, Wilnecote

As part of the consultation on plans the company held a public exhibition this week, 12 July in store. At the exhibition display information was available to view. You can download the exhibition boards here for more detail on the proposals.

The site is described as a sustainable, brown field site and developers have said that as it will soon become vacant, it provides an ideal location for a new development.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedHawkstone Vale Developments have said: “Your views on the project are important to us and we will consider them as we finalise the proposals for the submission of the planning application to Tamworth Borough Council.

“We would therefore be very grateful if you could take the time to complete our feedback form or contact us on [email protected] or by calling 0121 233 0902″

Skey Park Proposals

Skey Park is being proposed to regenerate a central site in Wilnecote to bring forward an exciting retail and community offer.

The proposed development will include the demolition of the existing store and the petrol filling station. By re-contouring the site this will create two at areas to develop upon (the site is currently sloped).

In the west of the site it is proposed to build seven retail units varying in sizes. Two of these units will include mezzanine floors.

In the east part of the site it is proposed to build a new discount food store (seen in green), it is also proposed to develop three restaurants / cafes (seen in blue).

To the south of the site a crèche is proposed.  In addition to this, a new gym can be provided on one of the mezzanine oors of the new retail units.

New planting and landscaping will also be introduced throughout the site.

A car parking area is provided including 467 car parking spaces; comprising of 433 car spaces, 27 disabled spaces and 7 parent and child spaces.

The proposed site layout

The proposed site layout

Some people may ask why is the existing Co-operative Store is closing down; well the company says that the existing store has seen a decline in sales. Like other retailers, Central England Co-operative need to constantly adapt to retail challenges at a local level. This decision was taken to close the store to protect the long-term future and growth of the Society as a whole.

As for the company that a looking at the redevelopment, who are Hawkstone Vale Developments Ltd? Hawkstone is a privately owned, property development and investment company which founded in 1997. They have gained a reputation for high quality developments throughout the UK.

Their current portfolio is comprised of retail, leisure and mixed use, residential and of ce schemes nationwide, many of which are retained within a £115 million investment portfolio.

hs2

THE first planning applications for developments related to HS2 have been received by North Warwickshire Borough Council.

The High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017 granted a planning permission for the construction of the railway.

It is a condition of the planning permission that building works, and other construction works, can only take place following an application to the Local Planning Authority, known as a Schedule 17 application.

North Warwickshire Borough Council has begun to receive the first of these applications.

They propose the formation of new habitat to relocate protected species affected by the railway works in the Coleshill and Water Orton area.

You can view these applications by clicking ‘Search for HS2 applications and make comments‘.

The applications will give the Council an opportunity to consider a limited number of matters, such as those lised below, but only where the proposals are reasonably capable of being modified,

  • design and appearance
  • the effects on road safety or on the free flow of traffic in the local area
  • the preservation of a site of archaeological or historic interest
  • nature conservation value
  • local environment or local amenity

The Council may also identify that the development ought to, and could reasonably, be carried out elsewhere within the development’s permitted limits.

Search for HS2 applications and make comments

  • Click on ‘Search for HS2 applications and make comments’ below
  • Click on the Reference Number of the application you’re interested in
  • HS2 Application and associated documents will be displayed
  • To Comment Click on ‘Comment on Application’ button and complete as required

The applications do not present an opportunity for the Council to reconsider the principle of the development, but the public may see the proposals, and comment on them by following the instructions above  .

Search for HS2 applications and make comments

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EARLIER this year Central England Co-operative announced that the existing Co-operative supermarket at Ninian Way, Wilnecote will be closing.

The Society has been working with Hawkstone Vale Developments Ltd to look at regenerating the site and to provide new and improved facilities for the community of Wilnecote.

Speech Bubble, Tamworth InformedA spokesperson from Central England Co-operative explains; ‘The existing store has seen a decline in sales, and like other retailers, we are constantly adapting to retail challenges at a local level. This decision was not taken lightly and it is necessary to protect the long-term future and growth of the Society as a whole. There is now an opportunity to redevelop the whole site and bring forward a new retail and community facility. We are working with Hawkstone to bring forward this exciting development.’

The development, proposed to be named ‘Skey Park’, will include a number of new facilities such as a discount supermarket, a range of stores, a gym, crèche, three drive-to restaurants / cafés, car and cycle parking, an improvement to the pedestrian links, as well as new planting and landscaping.

Andrew Kirton, Managing Director of Hawkstone said; ‘This is a real opportunity to provide new jobs and regenerate the site to provide the local community with a range of high quality and accessible facilities.’

‘Skey Park will bring many long-term benefits to Wilnecote. Creating a pleasant and welcoming environment for visitors to the site, boosting the local economy and creating an estimated 234 new jobs in a range of professions, requiring a number of different skills levels’.

Details of the proposals will go on display at a drop-in event being held in-store at the existing Co-operative supermarket at Ninian Way on Wednesday 12th July 2017 between 2pm – 7:30pm.

Members of the public, local residents, businesses and anyone with an interest in the scheme are encouraged to attend the public exhibition to learn more about the proposals, to talk to the development team and to contribute to the public consultation which is taking place ahead of a planning application being submitted to Tamworth Borough Council later this summer.

Browns Lane Development

TAMWORTH Informed has learned that an outline planning application is being prepared for a proposal comprising up to 220 dwellings within the Lichfield District, but again, on the border with Tamworth.

The plans will also seek the proposal for access, public open space, landscaping, sustainable urban drainage systems, footpaths, roads and associated infrastructure.

The site site they are seeking to develop is land at land off Browns Lane, Tamworth; next to the Taylor Wimpey site which is currently under development.

The proposal is being mad on behalf of Summix Limited, which is a property development company based in London which was incorporated in 2006.

An exhibition on behalf of Summix Ltd has been arranged and the public are invited to view these emerging proposals. The exhibition will be on Wednesday 14 June between 3pm – 7.30pm at the Town Hall, Market Street, Tamworth.

If approved, the development would be in addition to the 535 homes planned for the Anker Valley site, the plans for up to 1000 homes on the Arkall Farm site, the 164 homes of the Taylor Wimpey site and the 174 new homes planned of Coton Lane.

In total, this means that more that 2000 homes will be added to the North side of the town.

The proposed development

The proposed development off Browns Lane

Cllr Robert Pritchard, Ward Councillor has been spoken to by Tamworth Informed.

This is what he had to say: “While we need houses in the right place, this development adds insult to injury to the residents of Browns Lane. They have already had to endure a large housing development at the bottom of their gardens and now along comes another development even bigger than the last.

“This is another attempt to dump houses on our boarders and I again fear Lichfield District Council will roll over for the developers and let Tamworth be consumed by housing developments.

“Tamworth will again get all the traffic and have no say in the development during planning. We are powerless to to stop these developments as they are outside our councils boundaries. Furthermore residents will again be frustrated that all the developer contributions, new home bonus and council tax will be funding services in Lichfield and not Tamworth. But these residents will be part of Tamworth and use local services.

“There has to be changes to the planning system to stop dumping on the boarders of towns, this is completely unsustainable and a recipe for disaster.”

What do you think of the plans?  Are the homes needed?

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