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Regen cutbacks cause dismay

DISMAY has been expressed over plans to delay and - in some cases - cancel parts of the Regeneration programme in North Solihull.

DISMAY has been expressed over plans to delay and - in some cases - cancel parts of the Regeneration programme in North Solihull.

The comments follow a meeting of Smith’s Wood parish council where members said that, despite the global economic downturn, they would have expected to have had some meaningful consultation of what and how changes would be implemented.

“We’re all extremely disappointed,” said councillor Hugh Hendry.

“We were all expecting that the project would scale back but we weren’t notified of the changes at all - the first we heard about it was in the press.”

The regeneration project is one of the largest in Europe and is pumping millions of pounds into north Solihull. Now some of the plans have been abandoned, put on hold, or will take longer to complete.

“Tenants and homeowners who had been told some time ago their properties would be demolished have had their lives put on hold for several years. We feel they have been treated quite badly and with little or no thought to their plight,” said Coun Hendry.

“The developers must have known back in June that they were going to have to scale back and they could have talked to those affected and heard their views.

“Now some residents are angry, some are cynical and most see it as another promise broken.”

One of the main objections to the regeneration was the loss of green space - to be replaced when Gonville and Girton high rise flats were demolished.

Now a question mark hangs over that plan and the towers could yet stay.

Elsewhere, the council voiced concerns over the future of Woodlands Highway while Burtons Farm Park has already been halved with housing.

Coun Hendry attended the borough cabinet meeting on behalf of the parish council and asked for a decision on the scale back to be delayed until meaningful consultation could take place with residents. However this was rejected and the decision was made.

Meanwhile the Labour Group on Solihull Council has called in the decision so that the borough’s Scrutiny board can look at the decision.

 

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