Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Memoranda

Memorandum by V Kendrick (NT 17)


  "Town's original design"—large housing estates in district pockets of cul-de-sacs (closes), providing house drives or parking provision nearby to keep roads clear of parking

    —  majority of homes have two cars plus;

    —  out of town centre shopping x 3 equals need of a car!

  Much in-migration/commuter town, local industry becoming more warehouse type equals less local employees/semi skilled operatives

    —  many industrial units empty;

    —  speculative office building on the increase;

    —  business parks/carbuncle developments by other District Councils and millionaire farmers, attached to Redditch Borough boundary—speculative, incomplete and problematic (eg flooding), creating Urban Sprawl!

    —  marketable house building to excess;

    —  huge B&Q Warehouse on brownfield contaminated Alcad site in residential area equals part time, low paid, semi knowledgeable workforce/probable closure of local DIY outlets, 100's of HGV's equals Location Peripheral Zone.

  Building of new affordable dwellings very slow in number some specialist builds eg

    —  single bed apartments;

    —  bungalows for elderly, releasing larger homes;

    —  disabled and drop-in centres.

  Home Zones, good quality bus services coupled with "safe walking routes to school" currently in progress, could reduce some car use eg back to one-car families

    —  many "design" parts of districts/estates lend themselves to Home Zones equals funding needed to improve street scene equals street furniture, lighting, pedestrianised spacing with cars tucked in if drives not possible, blocks of garages removed (are an eye-sore and prone to vandalism/loitering of youths etc);

    —  the space, with appropriate low level landscaping, will add to much needed improvement.

  For a sustainable town, residential improvement as well as diverse economic development/employment, with skill apprenticeships need to be the focus.

  Redditch is no longer a New Town! Building has been in progress everywhere for the past 27 years! The town needs and deserves a break! With its Borough size population, time to settle and mature, using local resources

    —  improvements to local shopping centres;

    —  community and medical expansion;

    —  retention and better management of urban open green spaces plus the creation of more;

    —  appropriate and professional management of nature reserves, woods, public rights of way etc.

  "Balance between new development and regeneration of older parts of town"

    —  town centre Kingfisher Shopping Arcades undergoing cosmetic improvements with more retail flooring;

    —  many retail units empty.

  Redditch does not need to compare or compete with Merry Hill!

  English Partnerships of the town centre "bombed sites" have not produced the "vision" of residents, which was an open area with small retail units including non-alcoholic refreshment bars, open street scene with landscaping and no mugging alleys. They gave the town big buildings either side of a mugging alley opposite the town hall, half the units of which remain unoccupied!

  The strangle-hold English Partnerships still have on compulsory purchased land is not sustaining Redditch, quite the opposite! That on the fringe/boundary is likely to become "built" environments and add to urban sprawl, whereas "living" environments are badly needed eg the north east of Redditch is densely residential/industrial due to being adjacent to the A435 with NO parks, nature reserves, outdoor educational centres etc. In other words no provision for a good, healthy quality of life. Other nuggets of land still held by EP within the boundary are needed as urban open green spaces for Redditch residents. Local "ness" provision has not been considered or funded.

  I Z Leisure—Bingo hall moved to EP bombed site, Alcester Street, town centre;

    —  old bingo hall to be a nightclub!;

    —  a seedy wine bar (Yates);

    —  a new pub next door;

    —  a pub already exists just a little further along!;

    —  only cinema closed, becoming a Rock Café theme centre;

    —  Linton Tree nightclub with dance floor!.

  All the above are in the Inner Zone (town centre) which is a Conservation Area complete with listed buildings. Land next to theatre (LB) sold by RBC to retail speculators! No takers!


    —  land (brownfield) next to theatre could be a cultural venue;

    —  citizens would like there to be a performing arts centre, art gallery, tasteful eatery, puppet theatre, film studio etc;

    —  there are many small cultural specialised groups in Redditch, but no central venue.

  Railway station area derelict

    —  no plans unveiled for development, youth want a leisure venue and here is, by the newly replaced bus station, a railway station needing improvement, multi-storey car parks under used and taxi termini.

  Why are developers/builders allowed to dictate what they want eg a quick fix, anything shed like, no architectural style with no consultative say by local residents/other stakeholders? All ages would like a multi-screen cinema and an ice-rink.

  P Z—Abbey Stadium development scuppered:

    —  loss of hoped for "a competitive" size swimming pool and L T Association's location to Redditch with more tennis courts.

  Recreation—all "high" schools have a variety of facilities, some middle schools have less, lower schools own use mostly;

    —  County Council asset stripping with school closures and grounds and fire station land being sold for housing.

  So much for regeneration and neighbourhood renewal. The Future of Redditch is unique in its own right.

Note: IZ = Inner Zone; PZ = Peripheral Zone.

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Prepared 16 April 2002