Editorial March 2020

Exciting month for me personally- first day of Spring – my 91st birthday and Mother’s Day all over one weekend 21st/22nd March and my granddaughter gets married on the 28th, in Cornwall.

The February gales caused some damage and flooding. One wall which had been left unsecured a few years ago in Regent Place collapsed and some large branches came off a tree in Warstone Lane Cemetery blocking the new gated entrance in Vyse Street, which was quickly cleared.

More Residential use in pipeline – The increase in planning applications for residential use continues but at least some of the proposed new developments are leaning towards ‘town houses’ rather than blocks of so-called luxury flats. Some applications still far too bland with no features worth mentioning but others are acceptable.
The massive development on the old ‘bomb’ site within the JQ is allegedly quite acceptable to some as not destroying our heritage yet a similar development in Digbeth is unacceptable to the same people!!!!
It has also been announced that the Summer Hill end of the new Paradise Circus project will now include 70 residential flats – to rent only.
All within ‘coughing distance’ of the Jewellery Quarter!

There never appears to be any reference by developers in the prospectus about their contribution towards the ‘Clean Air Zone’. Surely thousands of new flats would cause more ‘foul emission’ than one factory, with new central heating boilers, water/sewage/power – no substantial open area for children to play. Even us slum kids in the 1920’s had a recreation ground set amongst the factories.

No real decision of where charging points will be positioned – e.g. part of ground floor of Vyse Street Car Park would be one good spot! There is also quite an issue brewing on new proposed developments regarding ‘loss of light’.

If we cover the JQ in concrete we could see a return of the extensive flooding at the turn of the 20th Century, which killed people every year – a flood potential is still there with some graves half full of water and the aquaduct containing the River Rae is now over 100 years old!

How wonderful it would be to have either the A E Harris site, or the Mr Tyre site, made into an ‘Open space’ where people could sit amongst flowers and trees and the kids could kick a ball around?

Commonwealth Games
We did have a promise from LM Andy Street that appropriate Jewellery Quarter firms would be given a chance to quote for medals/trophies etc. Please, if you do receive such enquiries let us know. Can’t see anyone from the JQ on the Committee!

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