Saturday 4th June – Jubilee Celebrations

Two weeks today, come along to the celebrations in Acocks Green Village and support Acocks Green Village in Bloom! There will be live music from Canoe – playing popular tunes from across the decades, a string quartet from Kimichi School and more. So dress up and come and enjoy the event!

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Planning Applications – Keep Informed and Be Heard

Following the Acocks Green Neighbourhood Forum Public Meeting on Tuesday 10th May, there was much discussion about recent planning applications. Many in attendance shared concerns about the high level of Homes of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) in our area and what can be done to curb their growth and make sure they are managed properly.

It is expected that larger homes, such as some of the older Victorian and Edwardian houses, may be sensibly and appropriately made into well managed HMOs. These have to be regulated and licensed and there are many of these in our area. The greater concerns from the Public have come from a growth in Supported Exempt Accommodation which are HMOs that are offering some sort of social support to the residents, because of specific needs. These are often not well-regulated, do not have to be licensed and do not have to have planning permission. There has been high-level criticism of some of these properties in recent times and campaigns to get them properly regulated.

In a suburb such as ours there are always changes and developments, but it is important to remember that, as local residents, we can give our views directly to the council and these have to be considered. Local people’s views can stop or change proposed developments.

If you disagree with a Change of Use of a dwelling or a business and wish to object to that change, it is important that you submit your views. The more responses to a Planning Application (PA) the better chance that the PA will be reconsidered by the council. It is understandable that people get annoyed and upset by some of the changes that have taken place, but the best thing to do is act in a positive way by submitting your views officially, each view will have to be considered and ‘People Power’ has changed the course of development many times in our area.

Close to the site of the Planning Application the council has to display details of the application, this will often be tied to a lampost and posted to nearby properties. This notice will show the PA number and an outline of the proposal.

If you go to the Planning Online page you can type in the PA number which will take you to the full details of the application and you can read and look at the plans.

As well as this route to view applications, the council produces a weekly list of Planning Applications that you can download each week – Weekly Lists . Handily they are produced in alphabetical order and so Acocks Green appears at the top of the list. If you want to read more about a particular PA then copy and paste the application number into the Planning Online Application Number Search, and on this page you can submit your views. There is normally a closing date for comments, so try to get your views in on time, although if you do miss the closing date, you can still submit your views up to the decision date and they will generally be considered. Discuss it with your neighbours and others who may be interested, encourage them to also submit their views. Another way is to search under Applications Awaiting Decision and you can search by ward by typing in Acocks Green and see all the outstanding applications

The Council have key practical criteria they use to judge each application. It is important that your views make reference to at least some of the criteria. Parking, access, type of development, local impact, room sizes and garden space are some of the criteria considered, so it is worth mentioning these.

The most important thing is to make your views heard and if enough people share your views and also submit them to the council, then there is a greater chance of having a real impact. If an application receives 20 objections/comments then the decision has to go to a committee where it will be discussed and considered more fully.

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Come to our Public Meeting – Back Together

Our first Real Life Public Meeting for over 2 years.. come along and find out what is happening in the Neighbourhood.

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Library Coffee Morning Restarts

Great news! Before Covid 19 the popular coffee mornings at Acocks Green Library were a friendly drop-in for local people. It is great to hear that this relaxed social morning starts again this week (14th April). Everyone is welcome to drop in for a cuppa and a chat.

While there its a great opportunity to find something to read from the vast array of reading matter the library has to offer. If you haven’t joined the library then just bring recent name and address ID to get a library card.

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Free Computer Course at Acocks Green Library

If you feel a little left behind by the digital age then this free course might be right up your street. In the friendly surroundings of your local library. Starting soon, so get in touch today. Call in or phone Acocks Green Library on 0121 464 1738.

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Jubilee Tree Planting and Tidy Up at Westley Vale

On Sunday 6th March the Trustees of Westley Vale Millennium Green organised a Springtime tidy up at at the site. Thirty-three volunteers turned out to help and our councillors had the honour of planting a special tree to mark the 70 year reign of our monarch Elizabeth II.

Many might remember the beautiful Copper Beech tree which grew in the central reservation on Warwick Road, near Holy Souls church. The tree had to be felled when they created the Smart route around 5 years ago. Jacqui, a local tree-lover, saved a self-seeded sapling from the tree. She has nurtured it and grown it on and recently offered it to the trustees of the Millennium Green to plant, where hopefully it will have the space to grow into a magnificent tree, as was it’s parent on Warwick Road.

As you can see, our Councillors Roger Harmer and John O’Shea officially planted it, and we have to thank Mick from the Village in Bloom team for transporting it to the site in his trailer. Also thanks to Mike and Robert Turner who dug the hole. May it have a long and happy life.

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Public Meeting and AGM – Tuesday 15th February

Everyone in the area is invited to this meeting which will be held on zoom.

Click the link at the bottom to join.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81729677868

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Local History Talk – Tuesday 8th February

This month’s talk, held again at St Mary’s Church, is about the fascinating life of Birmingham’s car pioneer – engineer and founder of the Austin Motor Company.

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Explore the Past – Monthly Local History Talks

Acocks Green Local History Society is back in operation, at the present time it is being held in the beautiful surroundings of St Mary’s Church.

The next talk is on Tuesday 11th January. Why not come along and find out more about the local area? Everyone is welcome.

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Festive Lights Brighten the Village

We hope that people have noticed the colourful lights brightening up the village, which were a positive way to end a difficult year for local individuals and businesses. The Neighbourhood Forum were disheartened to hear that, in October, the Acocks Green Business Improvement District (BID) were not successful in securing a third term in the village after 10 years service. We thank the BID team for their hard work and efforts over the years.

Local businesses and residents working with the council must now fill the gap left by the BID. We are fortunate to have many active local organisations that contribute to community life and hope that, with the many volunteers, we can keep positive for the future of the village.

The success in raising funds for our village Festive Lights this year shows what can be achieved. When it was clear that the BID would be winding up and not able to fund the lights as usual, the community stepped in. Mick, on behalf of Acocks Green Village Partnership, set up a GoFundMe page asking people to donate what they could to make the lights possible. Thanks to the generosity of many individuals and organisations the lights were switched on at the beginning of the month and have added a much needed festive brightness at this darkest time of the year!

Thank you everyone who contributed – you know who you are – your kind-heartedness has made a real difference.

(We know there are lots of good photographers out there, and if any of you can capture the festive lights well, do send us your photos to AGNForum@hotmail.co.uk for us to use on this site!)

The Neighbourhood Forum wishes you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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