BOVIS HOMES HAVE DELIBERATELY BLIGHTED AN HISTORIC LANDSCAPE

In July 2014 Bovis applied to have one of the original planning conditions relating to the 2004 Netherhall planning permission amended to allow a variation of ground level details associated with the ongoing landscaping.

For over four years Great Barr Hall Action Committee and Beacon Action Group have repeatedly raised concerns with Walsall Council over the illegal dumping of new-build waste by Bovis Homes on this landscape close to Great Barr Hall. Over the years, as the Netherhall development has progressed, a vast quantity of construction debris has been tipped, principally new bricks and building blocks.

Bovis have also played fast and loose with the agreed levels mutually agreed with Walsall MBC for subsoil deposition in the same area. They have grossly exceeded the levels that were agreed to, in the process further blighting this highly-sensitive area of historic landscape. In the circumstances, I cannot see how Walsall MBC can accept this variation of a critically-important planning condition. This application must be put on hold until Bovis have proved they are responsible developers. They can only do this by digging up their rubbish and transporting it off site, followed by re-grading of the area to previously agreed levels.

I hope readers will show their contempt for this Bovis dumping by objecting to the application. The closing date for submissions, which can be made on-line, is 21 July 2014.

PLANNING APPLICATION (Reference: 14/0822/FL) - Original letter to consultees. Bovis seeking a variation of a Planning Condition to amend approved ground levels, topography and landscaping on the former Male Homes site of St Margaret's Hospital.
LETTER TO GREAT BARR OBSERVER 11 July 2014 - Bovis representative denies dumping allegations, but the evidence is undeniable.
PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE - Irrefutable proof that Bovis have acted illegally by burying new-build debris. Pdf file - 18 photographs and 1 plan
.

WHERE I STAND ON THE PLANNING APPLICATION
Peter Allen: Secretary, Great Barr Hall Action Committee

The willingness of the current owners of Great Barr Hall and their agents to engage in dialogue with local stakeholders has been an important feature of the current restoration strategy for Great Barr Hall. This is in stark contrast to the 'siege mentality' adopted by previous stewards of this important heritage asset. As a result I have, from the outset, been working with Lapworth Architects to ensure they have access to the best historical knowledge and archive material to guide their deliberations. Obviously, the content of the masterplan they have painstakingly assembled is a matter entirely for themselves. I have tried to the best of my ability to influence thinking and in many respects I have been successful. It is regrettable that the final restoration package we now have before us is some way from what I would have wanted. In my opinion the opportunity has been lost to bring about the most historically-relevant and, importantly, the most cost-effective solution. That is unfortunate and I shall be reiterating my well-known objections in a response to the planning application. But there is much to be commended in the restoration package and I would not wish it to be thought that my opposition is profound. There may still be time to achieve compromise in the weeks ahead.

As part of the dialogue process I have, over many months, been painstakingly compiling a number of documents to assist Lapworth Architects. Much of it is bringing together, for the first time, research which I conducted many years ago.Some of the documents are particularly important as they reveal, for the first time, the many and varied connections between Great Barr Hall and the Lunar Society of Birmingham. It is this period in the Hall's history, between the years 1785 and 1797, which gives it national, indeed international, importance.

'GROWING A MAJOR LUNAR SOCIETY ASSET FOR WALSALL'

These research papers were composed to give Lapworth Architects, as well as the general public, an opportunity to reflect on some unknown aspects of the history of Great Barr Hall
. To achieve cohesion these diverse contributions have been grouped together under the above series title, which really says it all.

I am happy to be contacted on any matter connected with these documents .

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Nothing contained in any of the literature published by the Great Barr Hall Action Committee or by Peter Allen should be taken to imply that Walsall Planners have prejudged any elements of the current Great Barr Hall planning application. Like all stakeholders we respect the neutrality which must prevail throughout the long and complex process of determination.

PART ONE - POINTS OF CONTENTION RAISED BY THE MASTERPLAN UNDER PREPARATION BY LAPWORTH ARCHITECTS
PART TWO - ANCIENT WOODLAND ON THE GREAT BARR HALL ESTATE
PART THREE - SAMUEL GALTON JUNIOR: pioneer of children's natural history literature

PART FOUR - TOUCHED BY GENIUS: Great Barr Hall and the Lunar Society
PART FIVE - ENSURING AUTHENTICITY: Essential elements for a credible restoration of Great Barr Hall. The twelve images of the corner turrets which go with this article can be obtained from HERE.
PLANNING APPLICATION RESPONSE - Great Barr Hall Action Committee - Puts a lie to the mischievous claims by Beacon Action Group and others of a surrender of independence

OTHER DOCUMENTS BY PETER ALLEN

'THIS HISTORIC BUILDING MUST BE SAVED FOR POSTERITY' - Article by Peter Allen in the Great Barr Observer, 10 January 2014.
'DISPELLING MYTHS ABOUT HALL PLANS' - Letter by Peter Allen in the Great Barr Observer, 24 January 2014.
DON'T BE SWAYED BY HYSTERIA - Six-page public leaflet
CORRESPONDENCE GENERATED BY ABOVE PAMPHLET - Phil Turner and Peter Allen
BOUNDARY WALL - Great Barr Hall Estate

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS FROM LAPWORTH ARCHITECTS

STATEMENT OF STATUTORY AND COMMUNITY CONSULTATION - 40-page document
'TOUCHED BY GENIUS' - A statement of the community benefits accruing to the restoration of Great Barr Hall
ENABLING DEVELOPMENT FINANCIAL APPRAISAL REPORT - Compiled by DTZ, the global property advisor.