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Letter: Clearing up residents' concerns over Maypole area.

Byline: EMRYS JONES

Dear Editor, -I have followed with interest the correspondence about Maypole and Sainsbury's and can perhaps help clear up some of your readers' outstanding concerns.

Plans for a new supermarket were widely consulted upon through the production of the Maypole Local Action Plan in 1997, and through Sainsbury's subsequent planning applications. There was a wide level of support for the store and the other mixed-use components which include space for a gym/leisure operator (which is currently being marketed), an office element now occupied by a branch police station, and a housing site off Maypole Lane (also being marketed).

Necessary improvements to the traffic island have been overseen by Warwickshire County Council and while there have been some delays in completing the works, particularly the street lighting, I am assured that the contractors will complete these in the near future. Detailed plans for environmental improvements for the rest of Maypole shopping centre have been drawn up following extensive work with a focus group of residents and traders. These improvements will be paid for from funds secured through the Sainsbury's planning application, and follow city council funding of improvements around the library in 2000.

The works to improve the shopping area will take place alongside bus showcase proposals to widen Alcester Road South from Hawkhurst Road to Millpool Gardens; this scheme will provide dedicated bus lanes, improved traffic flow and improved pedestrian crossings. Work is due to start on this scheme later this year.

Feedback from the Local Action Plan consultation showed a strong desire from local people to create a 'gateway' to Birmingham and Maypole at the main traffic island. Draft proposals for a full re-landscaping of the traffic island, which includes public art, have been worked up with the focus group. I anticipate that this will form phase one of the environmental works over the coming months. Like your readers, I would very much welcome a new use for the Maypole Public House and the redevelopment of the Berkeley Precinct and am sure that this will happen in time. To date, however, no firm plans have been received.

The new development at Maypole has provided jobs for local people and will hopefully provide the catalyst for the regeneration of the rest of the centre. As further proposals emerge, I will involve local residents and businesses throughout.

EMRYS JONES Chief Planning Officer
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:395
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