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Letter: Rough ride for the inner city.

Byline: ANDREW DONOVAN

Sir, - It seems rather strange, bordering on the hypocritical, forBirmingham to host The Urban Summit when one sees what this council is doing in the inner-city areas such as Balsall Heath.

In this area we are seeing building on green areas and the selling-off of local facilities. I have in mind the green area bordered by Clevedon Road and Balsall Heath Road and the Balsall Heath Sports Centre.

Here we have a green area that has been enjoyed by the local inhabitants not only for walking in but for community activities. It was the site for the recent party in celebration of the Queen's jubilee, and it has been used for many such activities over the years. However, the council has decided to build upon it despite the objections of those living near it.

Only last week it was announced officially that the Balsall Heath Sports Centre was to close and the land sold off for commercial development. The centre was built only some 25 years ago as a centre of excellence. This it has been. It is known nationally and is well regarded with sporting and recreational conventions being held there. In addition, it provides valuable sports and recreational facilities. The promised alternative arrangements are wholly inadequate when viewed against what is being lost. There are also security questions if such arrangements are to involve the use of school premises.

Further, part of the new recreational facility is the building of changing rooms for Calthorpe Park. The proposed Metro from Birmingham city centre to the Maypole will go through this site. Which is correct? The changing rooms or the Metro? Incidentally, the Metro will also obliterate what remains of green space in the immediate vicinity, and if it follows the River Rea, as suggested, will threaten Cannon Hill Park and the recreation areas bordering the river.

ANDREW DONOVAN Edgbaston.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 15, 2002
Words:313
Previous Article:Letter: Help to get our news tapes.
Next Article:Letter: Countryside is ignored again.


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