Ladywood families hold demonstration against Birmingham council’s regeneration plans
Parents say ‘everybody is in tears’ and anxious children are afraid of losing their homes
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Anxious families held their first city centre demonstration today (September 5) to voice their fears over a multi-billion pound development scheme.
The Ladywood residents gathered outside Birmingham Council House in opposition to regeneration plans that were announced earlier this year. They are concerned about being pushed out by a new £2.2bn overhaul of the area.
The regeneration is expected to take place on the 60-hectare Ladywood Estate. The 20-year project includes around 7,000 new sustainable homes, new schools and more than 14 hectares of urban green open space, with two new public parks and public realm. The scheme also includes improved public transport, business incubator space and community facilities.
However, local residents claim that there has not been any effective communication from the council.
In the controversial Our Future City: Central Birmingham Framework, Birmingham City Council announced an ambitious plan to transform five key zones, including Ladywood.
When residents wanted to understand the proposal better, several hundred were turned away at the first public meeting regarding the area’s future in July .
Since then, the council has held another public consultation with the residents - but that did not stop the demonstration being held in Birmingham city centre today amid the council declaring itself effectively bankrupt. Even parents showed up with young children on a Tuesday morning taking time out of their busy work day.
One parent, who asked not to be named, said his son has been anxious since the regeneration plans were announced as he fears of his family losing their home. He said: “Every day my son wakes up and says: ‘Dad, our house is going. I don’t want my house to go. How are we going to go to school and concentrate on my education?’”
“Everybody is in tears, everybody has got depression and anxiety. We want the council to make an offer after a proper consultation with the residents.”
Another resident, Laura Kudrna, said: “I bought my home in Ladywood just a couple of years ago. I am a first time home owner. I was excited to get out of the rental market but now I feel I am thrown back into uncertainty again.
“People sometimes have the impression that Ladywood is a deprived area but that’s not true. There’s a lot of inequalities within and between areas and certain parts of Ladywood need to be improved and certain parts don’t need to be knocked down.”
Residents and businesses can also submit any questions about the plans to the council directly by emailing [email protected].
What Birmingham City Council said
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “We know there has been upset around the plans for Ladywood regeneration and what that may mean for residents and their homes or businesses.
“We will be working with the local community to develop and agree a Community Charter – which will allow them to help shape the plans and will set out what they can expect from us and how we will communicate with the community going forwards.
“Over the last few weeks, we have understandably received many questions from the community. We are working hard to be able to share more information and are working as quickly as we can to answer some of the community’s questions - whether it’s from BCC tenant, homeowner, local business, or community service such as a doctor, dentist, school or nursery etc. We are sharing this information with the community, along with information on the next stages of engagement and consultation which will take place over the coming months and years.”