Backing the Quarter – residents press city regen boss

The Forum AGM was on November 15th at Brewsmiths (great coffee – go and try!). A packed meeting heard from Mark Barrow, City Strategic Development Director, on how the Quarter figures in the “Big City Plan”. Residents pressed Mark on the need to protect the unique character of the area if the urban village idea is to fully work. He also went away with a clear message that the City needed to talk seriously with the new JQ Development Trust (which includes Forum reps) on shifting some of the vast council JQ property holdings to the new Trust, so locals can then create community benefit.

There was criticism of the council for its weak approach to protecting the character of the Quarter, with too little enforcement to avoid “planning creep”, but the meeting welcomed Mr Barrow’s awareness of the uniqueness of the JQ. Everyone agreed that we should all keep talking to the City – but with some clear aims in mind. With English Heritage having just named the JQ Conservation Area as “at risk”, the AGM agreed we need a joined-up plan sooner not later.

Also see  Mark Barrow named as new regeneration chief for Birmingham via Birmingham Post 7 Jul 2010

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