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.”