Archive for July, 2008

SECRETARY OF STATE REFUSES CALL-IN

Posted on July 25, 2008. Filed under: News |

Very sadly we have learnt that Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has decided not to call-in the application for the proposed Tesco superstore.

This is despite being inundated with letters of protest from local residents and businesses, as well as receiving a ten page report from Another Stirchley Is Possible outlining the many failings of the planning process. Lynne Jones (MP for Selly Oak) also felt that the proposal met the criteria for a public enquiry on the basis that such applications, ‘could have significant effects beyond their immediate locality’ and ‘may conflict with national policies on important matters’. However the Department for Communities and Local Government took their decision on the basis that, ‘the issues raised do not relate to matters of more than local importance’.

One has to wonder how the government expect their own policies on sustainability and community accountability to be implemented if they refuse to intervene on such ‘local’ matters. It’s also worth mentioning that the decision was taken at break-neck speed, even faster than the city council expected. The application will not return to committee and approval is now solely dependent on a legal agreement between the council and Tesco.

We will now be pursuing other ways in which to protest, including taking our complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman. We will also be looking into ways in which we can influence the development of the scheme, including the replacement of local facilities, and help the area prepare for the arrival of Tesco should it go ahead.

Thank you to everyone who wrote to the Secretary of State. It’s a massive shame that the decision hasn’t gone our way. Having said that, the battle isn’t over yet so watch this space for updates and ways in which you may be able to help.

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MP SUPPORTS CAMPAIGN

Posted on July 24, 2008. Filed under: News |

Following a frantic week of letter writing Lynne Jones (MP for Selly Oak) has thrown her weight behind our pleas asking the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to call-in the Tesco planning application for a public enquiry. 

She also recommends the report we submitted to Hazel Blears, highlighting the many failings of the city council’s planning report. In the conclusion to her letter Lynne Jones writes:

Whilst Stirchley needs investment, it has a good range of independent shops and Cotteridge is a rare example of a suburban shopping centre in having several independent greengrocers and butchers, as well as two smallish supermarkets.  All this is threatened by the proposed development, which will also affect traffic enroute beyond Birmingham as well as other centres in Selly Oak, Kings Heath and Maypole and so I hope you will agree that it demands greater scrutiny and meets the criteria to be called-in.

Our campaign has also received the support of local journalist Adrian Goldberg. In his column in the Birmingham Mail he writes:

Creating an additional 120,000 square foot of shopping with parking for 567 cars in the midst of this congestion is madness, and blatantly runs counter to the council’s own policies on sustainability. Stirchley needs major regeneration for sure, but that won’t be achieved by creating longer tail-backs, more frequent traffic jams and extra pollution. And that’s why the nation’s favourite grocer should give Hazel Blears food for thought.

Remember there’s still time to make your objections known to the Secretary of State. Click on the previous post ‘OBJECT NOW!’ for a sample letter and the necessary contact details. If you have already done so then thank you for your efforts.

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OBJECT NOW!

Posted on July 16, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Despite Birmingham City Council doing extremely little to keep residents informed of developments we have now discovered that the planning committee have referred the application to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. She will decide whether to call in the application for further inspection or let it be approved. She will do this in the next two weeks. We think she needs to call it in and we need your help to persuade her.

You can find a letter below which you can either copy and send or use as a template for your own. Individual letters do have more impact but time is against us. We need to get as many letters to Hazel Blears as possible. Send you letter to Rt.Hon. Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU. You might also like to send a copy to Lynne Jones MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA (jonesl@parliament.uk). (more…)

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RESIDENTS HAVE THEIR SAY

Posted on July 12, 2008. Filed under: News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

The public consulutation we held on Saturday 12th July was a great success, with lots of people coming to find out what we are doing, object to Tesco and offer their suggestions for a better Stirchley. To see the results click here.

One point that seemed to keep coming up was a presumption that the Tesco’s development is a done deal. It most certainly is not! Birmingham City Council may be minded to approve the application but it still has to go to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Hazel Blears). We have to act quickly but there’s still time to make your objections known.

We’ll be letting you know how to do this soon.

In the meantime, scroll down to see more pictures from the event.

(more…)

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TELL US WHAT YOU WANT!

Posted on July 9, 2008. Filed under: Upcoming events |

We’ll be at Stirchley Community Centre, Pershore Road, on Saturday 12th July 2008 from 10am – 2pm.

We want to find out what the people of Stirchley would like to see in their area, so we’ve decided to hold an open day at which you can tell us your ideas. We’ll then take those findings and campaign to make them happen. 

A new sports centre? Different types of shops and public spaces? More affordable housing? We’d like people to be as ambitious and imaginative as possible. So drop by and give us your vision for an alternative future.

If you can’t make it then leave your ideas here or email us at: anotherstirchley@live.co.uk

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    About

    Another Stirchley Is Possible is an action group set up by concerned local residents to oppose the planned Tesco retail development and to campaign for a better alternative

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