Some great news to announce – Solihull Council is intending to establish a new public open space/woodland on land that was formerly designated for housing development.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Courts, has requested officers to establish a new public open space in Dickens Heath, Shirley and has asked them to work with local residents to ensure the new public open space meets their needs.
Cllr Courts said ‘‘A large part of that site is owned by the local authority and I have asked officers to work towards a plan we can share with local residents to create a public open space that increases biodiversity and establishes a valuable place in the local area for families and residents to enjoy’.
The site being considered did form part of allocation 13 in the former draft local development plan but was withdrawn from the draft plan last year (see map below) and is council owned land off Tanworth Lane/Dickens Heath Road.
Local ward Councillor Ken Hawkins welcomes the initiative saying ‘A lot of work has been done to secure this land for public use. As well as protecting this land we will work with the local communities and I envisage a range of options including substantial numbers of trees planting and woodland footpath. This is a truly exciting project’.
Cllr Courts added ‘This site has the potential to make a sizeable impact on our climate change agenda. Once trees mature they can absorb substantial amounts of carbon as well as helping to protect urban areas from flooding and pollution’.
Shirley Councillor Karen Grinsell also welcomed the move, saying how important it was that we establish such a community asset for the Shirley area.
Council officers will develop proposals and consultation with the local communities will follow. I envisage the two nearest schools being asked to name the new woodland/open space.
We can though start to think about what we would like to see in this woodland area.
The link to the draft (pre 2019) local plan can be viewed via this link: https://www.solihull.gov.uk/…/LPR/Draft_Local_Plan_05.12.16…
I will update you all when there is more news.