Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in January 2012

1. No further developments were reported in the Kimberley/Waitrose planning application which is expected to be heard by Solihull Council in February. In the meantime the Society will be meeting with the Council to discuss Conservation Area concerns in respect of the application.

2. Arrangements were tabled for the four events celebrating the Society’s Jubilee year. It was agreed in particular that the ‘Tea Party’ with birthday cake to be held in the Village Hall would be thrown open to the whole community, whether members of the Society or not. It was noted that the Any Question? broadcast was likely to be over-subscribed.

3. It was agreed to continue exploring the possibility of a full-colour newsletter – perhaps using a design and print service, though there were reservations about taking that route. The change could be made coincident with appointing a new editor, for which volunteers would be sought.

4. It was agreed to form a new committee (possibly to be named ‘Membership Services’) which would pull together the five member-related activities of Membership, Newsletter, Distribution, Website and Publicity. The need for greater coordination of these activities was recognised as the Society continues to respond to changes in communication and technology.

5. Although the Society has adequate funds at present it is recognised that is growing role in community events (such as the Christmas lights) and developments in the newsletter may cause regular expenditure to exceed income and that the subscriptions which have remained unchanged for many years, could require review.

6. Knowle Green Community Project – It was reported that there was possible private interest being expressed in developing this block. The Society would look further into this report but also noted that the block was actually owned by the Council.

7. Diana Holl-Allen representing the Knowle Councillors assured the meeting that the Local Development Framework would be seeking a lot of input from the community; she also stressed that if the community does not respond then decisions will be imposed upon it. She also reported that Council Tax is to be frozen for the next year and that the cemetery at Widney Manor is to be expanded.

8. Knowle Library – it was reported that the relationship with the library service over our Saturday afternoon opening arrangements is becoming increasingly positive and further developments are anticipated. Some 700 people have used this facility in which a 70% were children.

9. Christmas Lights – the condition and quantity of the remaining tree lights was such that it was agreed that enquiries would be made about the purchase of new LED lights.

10. One much valued committee member resignation was noted and two new ones were approved.

11. The future of the former bypass land and the lack of a potential walking link between Longdon Road and this land; the Society’s continued interest in being willing to assist with the Streamside Trust and the difficulty in selecting a suitable place for planting of a Jubilee tree in the autumn land was discussed. Solihull Council had expressed its willingness to cooperate in the planting a tree.

Knowle moves back into Warwickshire!

Once upon a time sporting the cachet of a ‘Warwickshire’ postal address, the village of Knowle has been returned to that county for one month only, in the October 2011 issue of Warwickshire Life.

The Knowle Society was quoted extensively and given a good write-up in this issue, which joins the long history of attractive articles on Knowle in glossy magazines.

Revised response to LDF proposals

[Note this is now known as the Solihull Local Plan.]

Long term plans for providing additional housing within the Borough of Solihull and how this affect Knowle are covered in the Local Development Framework core strategy consultation document produced by Solihull Council. The Knowle Society has been working on its response to these proposals and the attachment here is the result of consideration of the issues.

‘Read more’ for an addendum (29 September 2011) from Leighton Jones with a list of suggested ‘Local Green Spaces’.

Addendum

As mentioned in my submission of 28 September 2011, I now submit a list of locations that we would wish to register as ‘Local Green Spaces’. Further details of the locations and exact boundaries are available from Ian Simmonds, the chairman of The Knowle Society’s Natural Environment committee. His email address is environment@knowlesociety.org.uk and phone number 01564 778692.

The list is:-
Knowle Park
Middlefield Park
The Green outside the Guild House
St Johns Village Green
Wychwood Woods
Jobs Close Nature Reserve (3 sections)
Knowle Park Allotments
Knowle Library Knot Garden
Knowle Green (Station Road/Warwick Road)
Warwick Road Roundabout and land between Wychwood Avenue and Arden Vale Road
Route of proposed bypass
Kixley Lane recreation ground
Footpath land and ponds from Browns Lane to Pool End Close Ponds
Land from Kixley Lane going north to boundary with Grimshaw Hall (shown on the UDP map as being a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation).

Kixley Lane recreation ground is owned by The National Trust but we have no idea of who owns the last item. All other land is SMBC owned.

CORE STRATEGY RESPONSE Sep 2011 – submitted

Arden School temporary classrooms removed

A group of temporary classrooms adjacent to Arden School on Station Road were dismantled and removed today. Planning permission had expired and their continued presence had led to irritation within the community.

Arden School has responded to concerns expressed by Council planners, councillors and especially local residents by removing these temporary classrooms a few weeks after the expiry of planning permission but before wider community agitation became significant. The community will welcome this move as nobody wants to see poor community relations with a very successful local school. The school would prefer to have continued with the use of the extra space, this being despite a recent history of strong growth of new facilities. The real issues on this matter from the perspective of the school although aired had not reached the point of widespread debate; most people however will be glad to see the law upheld and a longstanding eyesore addressed.