Tuesday May 18 2021



In Full . . .


Posted on June 30 2018 at 11:19:54

You are probably expecting to read another column of head-banging bemusement over the antics of Bromsgrove District Council and the planning report they seem so attached to, even though the 15,000-home “Barntchurch” it suggests would render this area unrecognisable within two decades.

The revelation that a co-author of that report has also been hired by the council to help in its consultation on the draft district plan has, apparently, left even some of the ruling Tories wondering if they have lost the plot.

But we will spare you yet more talking in circles about whether this constitutes a conflict of interest until we hear the conclusion of the independent auditor who, we are told, is looking into the appointment.

Instead, let’s be British and talk about the weather . . . and how green everything is.

It already feels like we’ve had at least one normal English summer and July is only just beginning.

Hot, sunny days following the miserable March, when this area recorded almost three times the normal amount of monthly rain, means nature has been having a field, hedge and tree day.

How quickly the endeavours and misdemeanours of humankind are concealed and healed by natural growth.

A car that somehow runs off the road and into the bushes on a sharp bend in Barnt Green is, within days, digested by the interior of the undergrowth like a plane in a lost world, the only sign that no one has bothered to extract the stricken vehicle being the strand of police tape fluttering in the breeze.

Find a high point and look across the landscape: never can it have looked so lush and verdant. There are many vantage points across the Village area, but a particularly good place is as you come down Radford Road from Weatheroak Hill towards Rowney Green and Alvechurch.

At a number of spots, the summer vista across the Arrow Valley, over Hopwood, Alvechurch, Barnt Green and Cofton Hackett, is quite splendid.

These are the views, as far as the half-clues and splodges on the maps in the Hearn report tell us, that would be lost to “Barntchurch” so Birmingham could burst out of its borders.

Who, on this green earth, would want to see that happen?

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