New Talbot decision “madness”

Sandwell Council's Planning Committee has approved the development of apartments and a restaurant on the site of the former New Talbot public house at the junction of Hagley Road and Anderson Road. Despite strong opposition from local residents, the residents' association and local Ward councillors, the Committee accepted a recommendation to allow the entrance to the development right on top of the Hagley Road/Anderson Road junction. The decision was taken following advice from Highways officers from Sandwell and Birmingham which said that putting the entrance on Hagley Road was dangerous.

Councillor Bob Piper said, “I find this advice to be incredible beyond belief. Every business or residential development between Five Ways and the Kings Head has an entrance directly on to the Hagley Road. Next door to this proposed development we have Majestic Wines, a petrol station and a car wash…all entering and exiting via the Hagley Road. But for this development we are told that in the view of the professionals, it is dangerous.

“Instead they are advising putting an entrance on what planning officers have already said is a dangerous junction. So dangerous they wouldn't even allow an advertising hoarding, but they are prepared to recommend putting a car park entrance there. It is complete madness!

“Anderson Road is a one-way road, and we already know from residents in Anderson Road that people are coming out of the Fitness First car park and taking a short cut the wrong way to get away on to the Hagley Road. Faced with a tour of the one-way system around that part of Bearwood, or dodging out of this new development, we are risking a further hazard.

“I don't blame Planning Committee members, nor the developer who was prepared to have an exit on to Hagley Road, but if there is a serious accident as a consequence of this decision, it will be on the conscience of Highways officers in Sandwell and Birmingham, because this is their advice, and I will ensure everyone knows that.”

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19 Responses to New Talbot decision “madness”

  1. Carl Schneider says:

    While I am in agreement with your concern regarding the location of the entry/exit, I am surprised with how you refer to yourself in the third person. How royal!

    • Bob says:

      I was making sure it was a quote from myself, because the blog is in the name of the Abbey councillors. Perhaps a bit too subtle for you.

      • Carl Schneider says:

        Very subtle indeed Bob. Here was me thinking the credits stating “Promoted by Bob Piper of 115 Barclay Rd, B67 5JZ on behalf of the Labour Party, care of 39 Victoria Street London, SW1H 0HA .” would be accurate. That and the email alert stating this post was posted “by Bob”. Oh dear!

      • Bob says:

        The wording is to satisfy the electoral commission, the quote is to make it clear to the media who read the blog that they are my words. I wouldn’t have thought that was too difficult to grasp, even for you Carl.

  2. hazel shipton says:

    is it really worth opposing planning applications when to be honest he majority are ignored,surely when the highway officers visited it must have been busy as hagley rd always is or did they visit beofre 7 and after 7.00 pm. what kind of restaraunt is opening is it a sit in one or one with a takeaway attached

  3. Pat says:

    So just as the crossing at the King’s Head is probably going to be solved and kids stop getting run over, we get car crashes instead. Great…

  4. Tom says:

    Does the local community have any right for an appeal? Also have they made any restrictions on the parking, ventilation, noise and refuse collection? None of these issues were addressed on the planning application and were raised as objections.

    • Bob says:

      Tom, no, the way the planning system is fixed works against residents is that they have no right of appeal, only the developer has that. There were amendments to the original plans in respect of parking, ventilation and refuse collection (it was, of course, a pub before selling food so those objections weren’t likely to succeed) but for the crucial one, the access and egress, the committee took the advice of the ‘professionals’ as opposed to the community who just have to live here.

      • Carl Schneider says:

        Yet you state that you don’t blame the planning committee when they “took the advice of the ‘professionals’ as opposed to the community who just have to live here.” Interesting. Judging by both your remarks the planning committee must accept the advice of Highways without consideration.

        p.s. I find you very hard to understand Bob. Funny. Don’t have problems usually 😉

      • Bob says:

        It’s like pulling teeth! They don’t have to follow the officers advice, and I don’t blame them because they did, but I think the advice was crap.

        If you don’t understand I could try drawing you a picture.

  5. Candy says:

    Most of us get it Bob. He’s a troll – ignore him.

  6. Carl Schneider says:

    No Bob. I get it. I wish I didn’t 😦

  7. Feverfew says:

    I’m not sure I do, sorry. The advice of the Highways Agency was, I think we all agree, very poor. Even so, the committee took the bad advice on board and essentially agreed with it. But somehow, the Highways Agency is to blame, not the committee which accepted the advice. Just to clarify: would the committee have been in a position to reject the advice given?

    Surely this is the real consideration here: we expect the planning committee to take account of residents’ views, as well as the advice of professionals. And BTW I am not trolling: I really would like to know what powers the planning committee has.

    • Bob says:

      Yes, the planning committee could have still rejected the application, and personally I think they should have done. However, given the advice of their own officers from Highways, and that of Highways officers from Birmingham (not the Highways Agency, as far as I know they weren’t involved) they were in a difficult position. The developer had a right of appeal to the planning inspectorate in Bristol if the application was rejected, which could take anything up to six months, and then if the Inspectorate agreed with the ‘professionals’ the developer would claim tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of pounds in legal costs for the hearing and compensation for the delay. At a time of financial squeeze they had to take that decision. So, you can blame them if you wish, but I don’t.

      • Feverfew says:

        Point taken, Bob. We do seem to come up against this problem with planning all the time: it seems the odds are stacked in favour of the developers, regardless of the concerns of the residents. Very disappointing indeed. What price local democracy I wonder?

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