Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Amesbury Road paving slabs

A site meeting was held this afternoon to discuss the future of the paving slabs of Amesbury Road. Councillor Martin Mullaney, various Transportation Engineers, various Amesbury Road residents and a representative from the Moseley Society, attended the meeting.

At attempt by Transportation earlier this year to remove the slabs and replace with tarmac was halted after complaints from local residents and pressure from Councillor Martin Mullaney.

Amesbury Road is in Moseley Conservation and has an Article 4 directive, which stops the residents removing original front doors and windows. The houses were built between 1900 and 1910 and were designed by some of Birmingham finest Edwardian architects. It contains several statutory listed houses.

Transportation want to replace the slabs since the vast majority are cracked and are now trip hazards

At the meeting Transportation agree to do the following:
· Replace the cracked slabs with new slabs.
· The pavement will be completely reconstructed and raised a few inches to discourage cars and vans parking on the pavement – this is what has caused the slabs to be cracked
· The new pavement will have a stronger foundation to prevent future slabs being cracked.
· The granite kerbstones will be carefully lifted out and reused. However, Transport emphasized that a large number will crack when lifted out since they are very fragile.
· The granite kerbstones will be initially be re-used on the west side of Amesbury Road before being used on the east side. Cars are parked all day on the east side, so there will be better viewing of them on the west side.
· When the granite kerbstones run out, a granite look-a-like kerbstone will be used.
· The replacement driveways on the pavement will be re-constructed in concrete, as opposed to tarmac. This is for aesthetic reasons. The re-constructed driveway will stretch the entire width of the pavement, so as to avoid future pavement slab cracking.
· Square potholes for new trees will be allocated in the new pavement – the tree section to advise on locations. Plastic root guards will be inserted ready for the new trees.
· The re-construction of the pavement will begin in about two months.

Questions for Transportation and Street Services – 22nd May 2006

As the new Scrutiny Chair for Transportation and Street Services, I’ll be meeting Senior Council Officers on a regular basis. These meetings will be an opportunity to ask questions about Council policy – and hopefully change it for the better.

The list of questions that I will be initially raising is as follows. Are there any that you would like me to raise? I will provide feedback on the responses I am given.

Street Services
What is the timetable for the roll out of doorstep recycling in south Birmingham?

What are we doing to monitor the performance of the Birmingham Call Centre? I get regular complaints from residents saying that they keep telephoning the call centre about non-delivery of bin bags and still don’t get them

Do we actually collect statistics on refuse on a Ward-by-Ward basis? Could we start doing that?

Could we have a scheme where graffiti is removed off brickwork without the need for prior permission from the owner? This is a particular nuisance with empty shops or abandoned houses where the Council insists the non-existent owner must sign a form to allow the graffiti to be removed.

What is happening with reducing the cost of installing dropped kerbs to allow parking in front gardens?

What is happening with providing funds to allow one residents parking scheme per Ward per Year? At the moment it is only one residents parking scheme per District per year.

Why can’t Councillors be provided with a Ward map showing where road accidents have happened over the last 5 years? This would allow Councillors to prioritize traffic calming measures, if any.

What are we doing to make it easier to install mobile CCTV cameras on lampposts? At the moment the Highways Department insist that any lamp post that is to have a rapid response mobile CCTV has to be first individually tested to ensure the lamp post will not topple over. They then charge an exorbitant rate to put the camera on and off the lamppost.

What are we doing to make it easier and quicker to change Traffic Regulation Orders?

When is the Highways Department going to start removing Advertising A-boards that clutter our High Streets? Other Councils do this, but Birmingham Highways Department refuses to do so.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Councillor walkabout of kings Heath in the Avenue Road and Highbury Road area– Tuesday 16th May 2006

Graffiti – Councillor Request mu01230 raised for items 4 to 10. Councillor Request mu01231 raised for items 11 and 12.
1) clothes and shoes recycling bin on Avenue Road is covered in graffiti - Green World Rec. Ltd informed through Councillor Request mu01227
2) Kappa paper recycling bin in Avenue Road is filthy and needs a good clean – Kappa Paper informed through Councillor Request mu01228
3) post box, corner of Avenue road and Grange Road, has large FBK tag on it – needs repainting - – Royal Mail informed through Councillor Request mu01229
4) several graffiti tags on brick pumping station across the road from 57 Avenue Road
5) several tags on brick wall next to 64 Avenue Road – tags are EASY and FBK
6) several graffiti tags on wooden fence next to 69 Avenue Road
7) lots of graffiti tags on wooden fence of abandoned shop unit at corner of Avenue Road and Station Road
8) graffiti tag MENCK on the side boundary wall of 147 Highbury Road – wall faces Station Road
9) graffiti tag MENCK on wall across the road from 114 Highbury Road
10) graffiti tags on side of garages in Silverfield Close – could you check whether this could be blasted off?
11) tag on white wall next to 239 Grange Road needs painting over
12) wall in entry to the side of 133 Highbury Road needs painting over


Dumped rubbish for Lifford Lane depot to remove

Action for the Selly Oak Hit Squad to remove

Bin bags on pavement

Large domestic furniture items in front gardens

Section 4 notice required on property to remove litter/rubbish that attracts rats or provides them with a place to nest – Councillor Request mu01231 raised
13) Accumulation of litter at the entrance to flat xx, xxx Highbury Road

Shopping trolleys

Unnessary road signs

Miscellaneous items
14) Station Road needs resurfacing from Avenue Road to York Road - Councillor Request mu01232 raised
15) there is still an 2 inch thick layer of debris next to the garages next to 27 Balaclava Road - this needs shoveling up - Councillor Request mu01233 raised

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Update on Conservation Survey of Moseley Road baths - 11th May 2006

Moseley Road baths and library are in the middle of a Conservation Survey which is a pre-requisite for a Heritage Lottery bid.

The Heritage Lottery bid for restoring these buildings needs to lodged by December 2006, so that the £1million used during repair works in 2004/5 can qualify as match funding.

The Conservation Survey is on target to be completed by 22nd September 2006. This is so as to allow approval by the Council Cabinet for a Heritage lottery bid in December.

There are various stages to the Conservation Survey:
Historical Review - this puts the historical importance of the baths in a national context.
This is complete and in draft form

Structural survey – this looks at the major structural elements of the building that hold it together.
Pool 1 – the balcony has been examined and it is considered that the whole thing needs taking down and re-built. The balcony has a steel skeleton encased in concrete. The concrete has become porous over the years and allowed the steel skeleton to rust – the skeleton has expanded during the rusting process and cracked the concrete balcony, making even more water pour in.

The Quantity Surveyor has been given detailed drawings of the balcony and will be asked for a cost of rebuild. It is felt that merely replacing the rusted steel skeleton is not an option since the concrete is will offer no protection and will simply begin rusting again.

The floor at the shallow end section of the pool needs replacing, due to high level of cracks in it letting water through into the cellar beneath and rotting the steel structure underneath. The Quantity Surveyors have been asked for a cost of replacement

Pool 2 – nearly all of pool 2 is repaired. However, just like Pool 1 the floor at the shallow end of the pool needs replacing due to the high level of cracks. Repairing the cracks will only provide a short term solution.

The Quantity Surveyors have been asked to quote for removing the roof slates and relaying them, plus new wooden batons to be installed.

The south Slipper Baths Room – there are three sections of Slipper Baths Rooms – the south one was in use as slipper baths until 2004. The entire floor needs replacing here due to the high level of cracks – quote to be provided.

Remaining slipper bath room and entrance lobby – more core samples are to taken of the concrete in the north and middle Slipper bath room, plus the entrance lobby. The core samples of the concrete taken in 2003 indicated that the concrete was very weak – a tensile strength of 3Nm2, as opposed to the required 20Nm2. Microscopic analysis of the core samples shows that the concrete is in good condition and it is not understood why these samples had such a low tensile strength. It is hoped that more samples will let us understand what is happening.

Roof – as with the floor, the core samples taken in 2003 indicated the concrete had low tensile strength. More roof samples are to be taken to fully understand what is going on.

Fabric condition – this looks at the non-structural parts of the building.
This has only just started

MechanicalThe mechanical services to both the library and baths have been surveyed – this covered heating, ventilation and water services to the pools. Cost of replacing these with modern equivalents is just over £600,000.

A survey of the electrical circuits is currently taking place.

Conservation Management Plan
A high-level management meeting is taking place on Monday 15th May to hopefully agree an additional £50,000 to fund a Conservation Management Plan for the library and baths. This plan is crucial, since it will show the Heritage Lottery what the Council’s plans are for these buildings and how they will be kept in use.

The plan will involve asking users of the buildings – both employees and public – what they would like to see in the building. Local community groups will also be involved. Various options for the future use of the building will be drawn up. A business case will be put together to keep both pools open – however, if there is no wish to see both pools retained, then other uses for one of two pools may be investigated.

Talks have taken place with the Primary Care Trust to look at the future plans for the Edward Road surgery at the rear of baths. The PCT intends to significantly expand this surgery and want to work in partnership with the Council. The first phase will be the building of an additional floor on the present surgery. Options of joining the surgery to the swimming baths are being investigated as part of phase 2.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Councillor update on Planning Applications of importance in Moseley & KingsHeath Ward – Wednesday 10th May 2006

S/04560/05/FUL, 123 Moor Green Lane, Pitmaston, Moseley - conversion of existing to residential accommodation and new build- Called in for public enquiry due to not being decided within allocated time

S/05119/05/FUL,St.Mary's Row / Alcester Road, Moseley - Erection of 6.5metre high metal 'Ent' sculpture- Report In Draft

S/06764/05/FUL, 25 Billesley Lane, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 9QT, Erection of a two storey side , single storey rear and installation of two dormer windows to the rear - Awaiting Report

S/06858/05/FUL, 72 Park Hill, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8DS, Increase of fence from height of 2 metres to 3 metres. Awaiting Report

S/06949/05/FUL, 64 School Road, Land Adjacent to, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 9SW - Erection of roof to existing conservatory on detached dwelling - Approve – Conditions. Decision date 13/04/2006

S/07195/05/FUL, 9 Boundary Drive, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8NY - Proposal
Retention of single storey side extension with alterations to roof - Awaiting Report

S/07600/05/FUL, 16-18 St Marys Row, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8JG -
Reconstruction of front facade, reinstatement of ground, first & second floors. A1 (Retail) shop to 16 St Marys Row extended. No. 18 to be A3 (Restaurants/Cafes) on ground floor & first floor to extend over no. 16 at first floor, ancillary offices to second floor. - On an Agenda

S/00263/06/ FUL, 141 Sandford Road, Moseley - Erection of single storey forward extension, front porch, construction of new bay and bow windows to front with canopy over.- Awaiting Report

S/00447/06/LBC, 1 St. Marys Row, The Fighting Cocks Public House, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8HW - Part ground floor casement windows and doors green, installation to two floodlights to clock tower, replace lanterns and remove existing swing signs and replace with new pictorial swing sign - Report In Draft

S/01161/06/FUL 1a Brighton Road, Balsall Heath - Continuation of use as vehicle paint spraying workshop and alteration to existing flue. – Withdrawn -
Decision date 24/04/2006

S/01321/06/FUL, 93 Alcester Road, O' Neill's, Moseley, B13 8DD - Planning consent is sought for the variation of condition C1 attached to application S/01537/05/FUL to allow opening hours from 2330 Mondays-Saturdays and 2300 on Sundays permanently. - Approve – Conditions. Decision date 27/04/2006

S/01332/06/FUL, 7 Park Hill, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8DU - Retention of boundary walls to front and side. - Awaiting Report

S/01333/06/FUL, 7a Park Hill, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8DU - Retention of boundary walls to front and side - Awaiting Report

S/01468/06/FUL, 2 & 4-6a Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8BE - Demolition of flats and erection of 22 apartments - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

S/01697/06/FUL, St Mary's Row, Moseley Village Green, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 - Erection of Tolkien landmark sculpture to include 6.5m high metal "Ent" sculpture, life size statues of children, laying of resin bonded crushed glass tiles, removal of three trees and planting of four new trees - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

S/01723/06/FUL, 18 Belle Walk, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 9DE - Erection of 1.8 metres high front boundary wall and 2 no. 2 metres high front gates - Report In Draft

S/01755/06/FUL, 348-352 Moor Green Lane, Moseley, Birmingham, - New housing development; erection of 3 no. dwellings with new vehicular access - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

S/01541/06/OUT, 7 Park Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8AB - Proposed 3-bed detached bungalow on land to the rear of 7 Park Road - Report In Draft

S/02108/06/FUL, 25-29 Alcester Road South, The Pear Tree Public House, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7JQ - Variation of condition C2 of permission S/02762/01/FUL to extend opening hours to 0900-2300hrs Sundays, 0900-2330hrs Mondays to Thursdays and 0900-0000hrs Fridays and Saturdays. In addition extended opening hours of 0900-0100 hours on the following days every year: Christmas Eve; Boxing Day; and New Years Eve. - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

S/02118/06/FUL -12a St. Marys Row, Elizabeth of York PH, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8JG - Variation of Condition C4 on application S/02037/97/FUL to extend opening hours to 0700-2330 hrs Mon-Thurs, 07:00-00:00 hrs Fri-Sat and 12:00-23:30 hrs on Sunday - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

S/02127/06/FUL - 31-33 Park Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8AH - Erection of one block of 19 flats - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

S/02255/06/FUL - 582 Moseley Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B12 9AA - Use for assembly and leisure (D2) including skate boarding, BMX, climbing - internal alterations, external refurbishment, provision of parking spaces - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

S/02295/06/FUL -126 Springfield Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7DX - Conversion of bungalow to 2-storey house with dormers to front and rear, and erection of double garage - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

S/02489/06/FUL, 168 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8HJ - Continued use of ground floor internet cafe lounge to include new retail area at first floor - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

S/02463/06/FUL, 1 Oxford Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 9EJ - Retention of two storey rear extension and single storey rear extensions - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

S/02506/06/FUL, 91 Addison Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7EP - Change of use to hot food take-away (class A5) - Awaiting PP/Cons Exp

Monday, May 08, 2006

Latest attempts by the residents of Amesbury Road and Redding Road to stop an extension to Moseley Hall hospital have been thrown out by a judge.

Full copy of judgement can be seen at