Saturday, April 29, 2006

Poster Boy

Phew! Just got in after a night of intense postering in Ladywood ward. Well worth it though - we got most of the western part done, but we're not gonna stop there!

I've tried to do something different with my posters - instead of a dodgy mugshot or just my name, I've put my website address (this website in fact!). I can't remember of a candidate doing this before, but there has to be a first time for everything..!


Jessica said...

Hi Peter

Just to let you know that whilst I have seen some posters on Icknield Port Road with your web address on, that there are no leaflets about you that have yet been delivered to Coplow Terrace, which is just off Coplow Street.

I got your answer phone message about the redevelopment of the Tower Ballroom - I have also spoken to Carl Rice about it. It seems I was a bit behind, because I thought it was going to be apartments, with a hotel and conference facilities and a new home for the T S Vernon yard - apparently this planning consent expired some time ago. I had not realised that the revised proposal was entirely residential and did not appreciate the density of the redevelopment in the proposal.

I am pro-redevelopment and I think part of it has to be residential, because that's where the money is. People hoping for significant section 106 monies / planning gain (to improve the surrounding area) from a redevelopment which keeps the existing use in it's entirety, are people with vain hopes indeed, some sort of concession to basic economics has to be made.

I for one, don't like walking past the Tower Ballroom, or the car parks nearby, because it's intimidating - too many young men playing loud music in their cars. The green area by the ballroom should be made accessible to all, not just young men with fast cars. Keeping it as it is, does not open up the area to wider usage by the community.

I was not aware of the meeting regarding the proposed redevelopment, I would like to go to these, even if I am the only one who is pro-redevelopment.

T o speak of my own experience, I am a surveyor and I have persuaded quite a few young people like myself to buy in this part of the Ladywood, I have also persuaded investors to buy, largely because of the redevelopment proposals for the Icknield Loop etc. I know lots of people who work in property who have plumped for this area or who are thinking about it - it's not just property people either, for young people, there are very few places in the city where you can buy houses for under £100k and this area is poorly serviced in terms of places to go out, but it isn't stopping people buying here.
It would be a shame for the momentum to be lost.

I own 2 houses in this area, one of which I have brought back from almost the brink of dereliction, had I not bought this house, it's quite possible it would have stayed looking a mess. Why did I do this? Because it makes financial sense, if it didn't, I wouldn't have bothered - whilst I am not some big property developer, I think they probably have the same decision criteria as I do - you can't force someone to spend money if it doesn't make financial sense. If a leisure use does not make financial sense to any developer, the Tower Ballroom wil lie empty and become derelict, this will adversely affect the reservoir area. What about mixed use?

Whilst, I am willing to invest in this area, I don't have a lot of time for people who want to bury their heads in the sand about where this area should be going, if nothing seems to be happening, I will take my money elsewhere and I'm sure other people will too. Ladywood needs investment, there should be a way to satisfy investors as well a to service the community. I hope that whoever wins the seat that's up for grabs next thursday is committed to finding a solution that's viable.


Peter Smallbone said...


On the matter of leafleting Coplow Terrace, I remember leafleting it myself a week or two ago - it's possible that we missed one or two of the houses there. Sorry.

Moving onto the substantive matter of your blog comment, the redevelopment of the Tower Ballroom site at Edgbaston Reservoir. Firstly, your characterisation of those opposed to redevelopment as, '...people who want to bury their heads in the sand...' is rather unfair. If you attend the next meeting of the Friends of Edgbaston Reservoir (which will be published at, you will find that this issue is far from simple nimbyism. The proposed development is simply not in keeping with the reservoir as a leisure facility. The height and scale of the buildings would seriously alter the outlook of the area. There would also be issues of friction between residents and current users. For example, the Sea Cadets often perform very noisy activities on Saturday mornings, which would inevitably lead to noise complaints from residents and a potential loss of amenity for this group. While this issue may seem trite, it an example of how the existing community structures could begin to be eroded. An area that loses its community cohesion starts to go downhill, which is a problem for residents and property investors alike.

I have never said that I am opposed to redevelopment of the site per se, and I have never said that private investment is not welcome in the area - as a Conservative, this is something I believe in. Leaving the site to go derelict is not an option. All parties need to come together and, taking into account both community needs and financial considerations, we need to work on a solution that will bring benefits to the majority.

Peter Smallbone