The Friends of Edgbaston Reservoir and their supporters are holding a new protest against proposals to build housing along the renowned Birmingham waterfront.
The protesters are gathering between 3pm and 4pm tomorrow (Good Friday) - the last day of the official consultation with Birmingham City Council.
A key concern is over plans for housing at the derelict council owned Tower Ballroom site.
The council issued a revised draft masterplan in March and extended the public consultation following responses it received from the 2019 masterplan.
It said that the masterplan sets a vision for the sustainable future of the reservoir and surrounding sites and highlighted that it was an important open space for wildlife and recreation - while adding that it was also where existing and new communities could come together.
Why are the local residents campaigning against the plans for more housing along Edgbaston Reservoir?
One campaigner said: “It’s a proposal that threatens the Reservoir local nature reserve status as there will be 24/7 light and noise pollution disturbing the wildlife. We have spoken to several hundred Reservoir users and hardly anyone is in favour but the council are insisting this proposal is non-negotiable. So much for local democracy!”
Save Edgbaston Reservoir said: “Being squeezed from all sides from urban growth Edgbaston Reservoir offers respite for so many. I can’t imagine how it would change if visitors were forced to see a development of four-storey flats across the water below the two towers of Perrott’s Folly and the Water Tower.”
Edgbaston Reservoir for all members said: “Out on the reservoir with another pop up to talk to visitors about the council plans for developing the Tower Ballroon site . We spoke to over 80 people and the almost unanimous response was , keep housing outside the reservoir and green up the site to benefit all users.“
What has the council said about the revised masterplan for Edgbaston Reservoir?
The council said: “Located on the doorstep of the city centre, the reservoir serves a wide range of communities and acts as a visitor destination. It is a key open space in the city, has several historic assets and is designated as a Local Nature Reserve.
“The masterplan has been updated to provide more details on how the natural environment will be protected and enhanced. The proposals to develop on Osler Street Park have been removed and replaced with details on how the park can be improved.
“The option to relocate the existing water clubs into one hub has also been removed in favour of supporting them thrive in their existing locations.
“Other revisions include more details on how the development opportunities within the masterplan will enhance the character and sustainability of the reservoir.
“The masterplan provides details on several proposals for housing-led development on sites within the masterplan boundary but outside of the Local Nature Reserve, including the council-owned former Tower Ballroom site. This site is allocated for housing in existing planning policy, so the council is asking for views on the development principles set out in the masterplan that will help shape the sense of place the development delivers.”
Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council added: “The masterplan has been revised following continuous meaningful engagement with the local community and reservoir user groups.
“We would now like to open the consultation to anyone who may have a view on the future of this unique asset and would urge people to read the revised masterplan.
“The reservoir plays an important role in Birmingham’s green network and the masterplan provides the building blocks to protect and enhance the natural environment, whilst ensuring the opportunities within the masterplan contribute to the city’s inclusive growth agenda and housing needs”.
You can read the full details of the revised masterplan for Edgbaston Reservoir from the council here: Edgbaston Reservoir masterplan
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