Category Archives: Monkspath
The actual location is not within the Blythe Ward boundary, being just across the road in the Shirley South Ward. However, issues in Highlands Road have a direct effect in Monkspath and I make readers aware.
An application, number 2013/1525, has been submitted to develop land at the rear of the existing Porch showrooms. See via this link: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/planning/dc/ViewApp.asp
I am not aware exactly what is to be constructed but I have raised a few issues with the planning officers, such; the height of the buildings (so they do not impose on existing levels, and ensuring there will be sufficient on-site car parking for staff/visitors to the new premises.
Some residents have spoken to me about the development in Highlands Road; being a resident of Monkspath for over 30 years I did know that this land was safeguarded for business purposes when Monkspath was first developed. Indeed, about 4 years ago developers received outline permission to build hotel further along the road.
We must ensure any development is appropriate and does not infringe our superb local nature reserve on the adjoining land.
The latest report covering the whole of the Meriden (rural) side of Solihull is posted here Newsletter October 2013 . As usual, some excellent work being done in partnership both in Blythe ward and Solihull in general. I also realise I did not post Septembers report, her it is: Newsletter September 2013
Not a lot of people know that Monkspath has history going back to the 13 century and some of its footpaths are historic. For instance, there was/is a path used by Monks to travel between monasteries and abbeys in the area. There is also a footpath, leading from Shelly Crescent towards Stratford Road. This runs alongside the rear of Notcutts garden Centre and Tescos and leads onto the Blythe Valley Country Park once the main A34 is crossed. This footpath was called the Kings Highway and historic maps mention Shelly Lane and the highway. The ever reliable Wikipedia has more on Monkspath http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkspath
Anyway, I walked Millie down this footpath yesterday, specifically to look at some work undertaken by the Community Payback Team recently. They were tasked by our neighbourhood officers with clearing the footpath of litter and painting the wooden bridges. The work was done to a high standard and I have taken a few photographs of the walk and surround fields. Yes, some litter has returned and I, together with the neighbourhood officers, are talking to managers at Tesco and McDonald’s, looking at ways in which they can help.
Please find posted the latest monthly Neighbourhood Report covering the rural side of Solihull; this includes my ward, Blythe. You will find details of operations and projects between the council officers and police neighbourhood teams, with some excellent work being undertaken. Newsletter September 2013
Also shown on the newsletter are details of Police Beat surgeries. For Blythe ward these will be:
19 September – 3.30 x 4.30pm at Dickens Heath Library
9 October – 11am x 1pm Cuppa with a Copper at Notcutts
21 October – 6 x 7pm at Tesco’s Store.
Since having another dog (Millie a 18 month old Retriever) I have become a more regular visitor to Hillfield Park, which for the reader who does not know the area, is off Monkspath Hall Road.
The park is essentially on top of landfill (being near the old Monkspath tip) and has developed as the Monkspath development has developed in the last 30 years; I have lived here for that long. Last year (2012) the park attained a Green Flag status and retained it this year. More information about how parks attain a green flag award can be found on this website: http://greenflag.keepbritaintidy.org/
The park became a nature reserve a few years ago and regular visitors will see there are areas that are left to grow in order to allow wild grasses to seed and encourage insects and other wild life. The fruits of this work has seen the park really develop. It is not just an area of mowed grass where football teams hire pitches during the winter season; there is real evidence of nature being given a helping hand. In fact, on a recent visit with the Councils ecology officer I was shown some Common Spotted Orchids which had naturalised and the even rarer Bee Orchid. Both wild flowers are shown in the gallery/slide show.
One of the regular ‘problems’ is the pools of water that accumulate following rain. These pools do not drain quickly and some turn to mud. The reason for this is what lies underneath and no matter how much the council might spend on tackling them the issue will not go away. Therefore the management strategy is to mitigate them as much as possible. I have shown one of the areas in the photo gallery. It is this one, and a nearby one, that we hope to line with gravel (after preparing the ground), fill with top soil then plant wild flowers/seeds, creating a more colourful wild flower area. We will also plant some poppies – this will be great especially as 2014 is the centenary of the start of World war One. It is also planned to undertake work on the stretch of footpath (near to the Field House Pub area), to raise the level so that the dip (formed through subsidence) can be repaired.
Is the park super? Is it well used? Does it have occasional litter and dog mess? Do some people misuse the park? Yes to all these questions. However, as a long time resident of Monkspath I have seen the park become a far nicer park. It is regularly mowed by our partner/contractors and litter is collected. It is a fact of life that some people leave litter and I have spoken to our parks team to send a message to football clubs who book the parks football pitches to ensure their players/spectators take any rubbish away with them. I will monitor this in the coming football season. One thing I am pleased about is the few incidents of dog fouling I have seen. I do actually look for this when I take my dog to the park so that I can monitor the extent of the problem.
For several years there has been a Park Users Group that met under the chairmanship of an officer from Solihull Council. However, at the last meeting it was widely agreed that a more formal organisation be created. This is being arranged, with the help of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, and at the next meeting, in September, we hope to move things forward. I will update residents following this meeting.
The boroughs Local Development Plan is commented on in an earlier post on this website, but for new readers the draft plan can be seen here: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Attachments/Solihull_Draft_Local_Plan_Sept_2012.pdf
The Planning Inspector, who by law has to review the plan before it can be adopted by the Secretary of State reported his Interim Comments last month and his report can be viewed here: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Attachments/Interim_Conclusions.pdf
I am ever the optimist and believe the comments reflect well on the boroughs plan, which hopefully will lead it to be adopted soon. The council has submitted modifications to the plan in respect of these interim conclusions: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Attachments/Main_Modifications_document_FINAL_12_July_2013(2).pdf (I have had trouble downloading this – but the report can be read on the council website).
Please find posted the latest report from the Borough’s Neighbourhood Team covering Blythe Ward. You will also read about what is happening other parts of the rural sector, e.g. Knowle, Dorridge, Meriden. Newsletter July 2013
Mayoral year has ended so now I have the time to devote to this blog; I was really surprised how much Mayoral duties and social media for that role took over. Anyway, I’m back!
Please find attached a pdf of my submission to Tudor Grange School regarding its consultation about admission arrangements. I submitted the representation on Thursday via email and have received an email acknowledging its receipt.
I do believe all schools in Solihull must agree, within its family of schools, an admissions code that is fair to all schools and residents.