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Perry Barr District Background: Handsworth Wood Ward

Hilltop Golf Course - aerial view

Located at the [northern] south west end of the District, this area covers Sandwell Valley and the extensive housing areas of Handsworth Wood. Sandwell Valley is one of the regions biggest green recreational areas, extending into Sandwell and Walsall Districts and on through open countryside to Chasewater. It provides a much needed green space for the urban areas to the south. Within the City, Sandwell Valley comprises sports pitches, golf courses, open fields and a network of footpaths.

The Green Belt status of the area will be retained. To further highlight its importance and provide a framework for encouraging public and private investment the area was designated a Regional Park (known as Beacon Regional Park) in 1986. The City Council will continue to work closely with the neighbouring authorities of Sandwell and Walsall to enhance the Park and establish a management framework.

The part of the Valley within the City boundary has potential for continued development of a wide range of formal and informal outdoor recreational facilities, including golf and sports pitches. At the same time there is a need to ensure that development does not detract from its countryside character, nature conservation and wildlife value. Hill Top Farm Grasslands is designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and will be protected. The Valley provides an important recreational resource for people in nearby built up areas, particularly for residents in Handsworth where provision of public open space and sports pitches falls well below the City Councils standards. Opportunities need to be taken to improve access to the Valley for these residents.

Eastwards along the River Tame, a string of green spaces extends as far as Perry Hall Playing Fields. There is a need to maintain and, where possible, improve access through the Green Wedge.

Handsworth Wood is an extensive residential area comprising mainly privately owned dwellings developed from the 1930s onwards, and some older 19th Century dwellings. It is proposed to declare part of the area around Handsworth Wood Road a Conservation Area. This area also contains many larger houses which have been converted into flats, institutional uses, or are in multi-occupation, and the high concentration of these uses is affecting the character of the area. An Area of Restraint has therefore been identified in Handsworth Wood Road/Somerset Road/Selbourne Road. Within this area, proposals for non-family dwelling uses such as those listed above may be refused on the grounds that further such uses may adversely affect the residential character of the area. These replace facilities off Cherry Orchard Road lost as a result of residential development.

Councillors Advice Bureaux

Perry Barr District Background: Introduction
Handsworth Wood Ward - Statistics