Stay fit and healthy…

..and have fun at Thimblemill Library!

…and Slimming World follows straight after at 7.30pm!


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Planning Committee reject Thimblemill Rec plans

Sandwell Council's planning committee this evening voted to reject plans to build luxury homes on the land alongside Thimblemill pool.

Smethwick Ward councillors Richard Marshall and Linda Horton, and Abbey councillor Bob Piper urged the committee to throw out the plans because they were damaging to wildlife, destroyed the natural woodland, and the developers had not demonstrated that these homes would benefit the area. They also pointed out that Thimblemill Road was an accident blackspot, and the opening to the new estate was in a dangerous stretch of road where school children cross.

Highways officers assured they thought the road was safe – despite the fact that a crossing point was installed there only about a year ago.

Councillor Steve Trow raised some good points about the section of the report which said the land was under-utilised. “It isn't under-utilised by the wildlife and fauna that exist on that land.” Councillor Roger Horton agreed, saying, “I cannot accept that this will not represent a loss of visual amenity, as well as the other creatures that share this planet with us.”

Refusal was carried unanimously!


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Thimblemill Rec. proposal going to Planning on Wednesday

Plans to chop down the woodland on the Thimblemill Recreation ground to clear the way for building 13 luxury homes will go to Sandwell Council's planning committee on Wednesday.

The plans have been recommended for approval by planning officers, despite the opposition of local Ward councillors and a petition signed by over 1,000 calling for the woodland to be preserved.

Smethwick councillor Richard Marshall said, “We are not anti-house building, but everyone knows we are surrounded by perfectly good sites in this area where new homes could be built without the need to destroy the last bit of natural uncultivated woodland in Smethwick. There are a number of environmental questions around this particular site which have not been answered, including issues of wildlife, drainage, and the road access on to Thimblemill Road.”

Abbey councillor Bob Piper said, “We feel there are perfectly good planning ground to throw out this report. I am not happy that some of the environmental issues are supposedly going to be agreed as conditions of the application after the planning consent has been granted. If these matters are going to be resolved it should be before the application is approved and open to public scrutiny, not cobbled together in private behind closed doors.”

The application will be considered by the planning committee in public session at Sandwell Council House in Oldbury on Wednesday 24th September at 5pm.

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For all those who think Harborne is nirvana… via the brilliant Simon Lea




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Lots of great ideas…

Lots of people, with lots of good ideas for Bearwood Road improvements this evening. The impressive thing was that there were so many people with such a positivity and enthusiasm for the area, keen to discuss the proposals in the consultation document, as well as coming up with ideas of their own.

If you couldn't make it tonight, do try to pop in and see us at the Baptist Church on Saturday morning.

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Tonight, between 6pm and 8pm there is a drop-in session to give you an opportunity to take a look at some draft plans for improvements along Bearwood Road

It isn't a 'meeting' in the sense that you turn up, sit quietly during a presentation, and then maybe get a chance to ask a question. You can pop-in anytime during the two hours, take a look at the plans, have a talk with a planner or councillor if you want, and let us know what you think of the suggestions, or make some of your own.

We've already had some good feedback online, and if you can't make it to St Mary's Church Hall tonight, there will be another opportunity on Saturday morning at Bearwood Baptist Church in Rawlings Road.

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Bearwood Road improvements

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.14.37Over the next few weeks we will be consulting on some proposals for improvements along the length of Bearwood Road. The initial proposals are based on various suggestions we have received over the last few years, and include items like improving the physical environment, making things easier and safer for pedestrians, and some items like new waste bins, street lighting and general maintenance improvements. These are outline proposals are designed to kick off the consultation and some may not even be practical or affordable in the financial package – but we want to start the conversation.

The draft of proposals can be downloaded here and there is some more detail on some maps here and here which may not reproduce too well on all computers, but if you would like a copy by e-mail, let us know via There is also a response form to enable Abbey Ward residents to comment on the existing proposals and submit ideas of their own, that can be downloaded here.

We are holding two public consultation sessions at:

St Mary's Church Hall

Wednesday 17th September

6pm – 8pm


Bearwood Baptist Church

Saturday 20th September

Rawlings Road

9am – 12 noon

Abbey Ward councillors and Sandwell Council Officers will be present to discuss the issues and hear your views and with some larger scale maps.

Again, for people unable to get along, fill in the feedback form or e-mail us your views and suggestions to


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