Community project tackles anti-social behaviour in North Solihull

(22nd October 2007)

The North Solihull Partnership has provided £14,000 funding for a project turning areas plagued by anti-social behaviour into a series of woodland gardens.

The scheme, which has been carried out by Groundwork Birmingham & Solihull, has created a series of gardens in areas situated behind properties in Chelmsley Wood that were originally designed for drying clothes outside.

Sarah Reece-Mills, programme manager for Groundwork Birmingham & Solihull, said people no longer wanted to dry clothes outside and the areas had become redundant, and were now causing problems as they attracted people who were creating a nuisance.

She said: "The advent of central heating means these areas are no longer used or required for drying clothes and they have fallen into disrepair. As well as being unsightly, the outside areas were also very dark and attracted various forms of anti-social behaviour, creating a fear of crime for many of the local residents.

"We have combated many of these problems with this project, not only by creating fantastic green spaces where there were once concrete slabs, but also by engaging with the community. By involving them from the early consultation stage right through to the construction phase, local residents will cherish their new woodland gardens for years to come." 

The new woodland gardens are in Taw Close, Chelmsley Wood, in the southern area of the Regenerating North Solihull area.

Over the next 15 years the Partnership, made up of Solihull Council, Whitefriars Housing Group, Bellway Homes and regeneration specialists Inpartnership, will be overseeing £1.8billion of investment in the area, which will eventually see 8,000 new homes being built as well as 12,500 more significantly improved. This will be complemented by the development of five new village centres, 10 new primary schools and a considerable investment in infrastructure and open space.

Janet Bradbury, chief executive of the Partnership, said: "The Regenerating North Solihull project is transforming the area on many different levels, and this environmental scheme by Groundwork fits with the guiding ethos of the Partnership.

"Working with local residents and improving the quality of the environment lie at the heart of the regeneration scheme. These kinds of community projects help to further these aims, while also getting local people more involved with the regeneration process.

North Solihull is a long term project and significant progress is being made in many areas but there is a lot more to do. It is important that we support initiatives like this one which can make significant improvements to residents' lives in a relatively short period of time."


Press release drafted by Alun Thorne. For more information contact Core Marketing, 0121 643 8151.