Opposition to housing proposals

It seems like you won’t find many people who will speak out in favour of the possible new developments on Blythe Business Park in Cresswell.
The proposals – for 200 new homes, and 50 new businesses – were presented to the public two weeks ago.  Click here for details of them.

At the Draycott Parish Council meeting this week, when some forty members of the public attended, a lot of anger and dismay was vented at the proposals in an open discussion that lasted an hour.
“Disproportionate” said one person;  “… the thin end of the wedge” said another; and many were worried that the plans would “totally change the character of Cresswell…we want to keep Cresswell as a semi-rural hamlet, not a suburb!”
In the whole sixty minutes, only one person noted that: “…well, I spoke to some people that do want it – for the sake of their growing children. They like the idea of a new community centre, more buses, more jobs.”  But no-one in favour of the proposals had actually come to the meeting.

Field by Bythe Park

Will this field on Sandon Road be transformed into a housing estate next year?

There was also suspicion:  suspicion that the proposals were a smokescreen to divert us from some other as yet unknown issue.   And one person was gloomy that any opposition stood little chance anyway – because “… this government wants to see more houses built – so we will experience great pressure from above to get this through…”

And what stance did the parish council decide to take?  Not surprisingly, those council members who were present were unanimous too in their opposition.  Chairman Tony Fletcher called the proposals “a sanitised, scented view of things, not a practical view of things.”

Nevertheless, the council has decided to hold its fire until a formal planning application is submitted.  That formal application is expected in May.


Meanwhile, the local community action-group VVSM has  decided that it is best to be pro-active.

Already, the VVSM organisers, buoyed up by a meeting of their own which was attended by about forty people, have been out and about getting views from nearby parish councils, drawing up a petition, and having talks with representatives from the County Highways Department.

Drawing on their ‘fighting fund’ – which is made up of donations from the public – VVSM has commissioned a traffic survey to find out what the present traffic flow near the park is right now.  You many have noticed, as you passed through Cresswell, some new traffic monitoring strips – one of these was laid down by a specialist company at the request of VVSM.

Traffic monitoring strips

This traffic monitoring strip, near the Izaak Walton, is one of three sets along Cresswell Lane…

The group hopes to have the traffic-data from the strips analysed and compiled by next month.
Jacquie Leach, one of the VVSM organisers, told us:  “We noticed that some strips had been put down a few weeks ago, but were not sure who had put them down or why.
So we decided to get in quickly and ensure that we have some independent data that we can all trust – so we commissioned this survey ourselves.  Just so we know it’s right!”


But while the parish council and VVSM get on with what they do, there is still time for the general public to make known its feelings to the developers.
Deloitte, the real-estate company which is handling the project, want our suggestions and reactions to be with them by Friday 24th January. They are also prepared to take questions by phone and email – 0121 695 5109 / rcotterill@deloitte.co.uk.

If you feel strongly – one way or the other – it’s time to let your views be heard.


One response to “Opposition to housing proposals

  1. Cresswell says no

    The residents of Cresswell came out twice in the past week or so to register a big NO to the proposals to build houses and industrial units at Blythe Park.

    Joining them were people from Hilderstone and Fulford in support of the objections from Draycott Parish residents.

    We do not require urbanisation, we like Cresswell as it is. At the end of the day democracy has prevailed and the NO vote in the survey was overwhelming leaving just four people in favour, and that really spells out the feelings of the community. I might add that some people were unavailable to give an opinion as they were not at home. It is therefore safe to assume that the majority would have been even bigger had those people been at home.

    Well done to Jacquie and Shelagh from VVSM, and everyone who attended the recent meetings. Many people in Cresswell are seasoned campaigners, having undertook previous objections in respect of permission to allow a transport company to base a fleet of trucks on land there. In the end we were able to take this to a hearing in Birmingham where the inspector greatly reduced the amount of trucks, and within 18 months this company decided it could not operate under the restrictions and vacated the site.

    In more recent times we all know about the Power Station and the decision not to proceed, but not after our residents had two years of battling but in the end we got the desired result. These matters are hard enough but if one looks at the costs, then residents and supporters put their hands in their pockets and organised fund raising to fight the battle.

    Keep up the good work and please offer help to Jacquie and Shelagh where you can.



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