Chelmsley Wood

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Chelmsley Wood
Chelmsley Wood is located in West Midlands county
Chelmsley Wood
Chelmsley Wood
 Chelmsley Wood shown within the West Midlands
Population 12,425 (2009)
OS grid reference SP1886
Civil parish Chelmsley Wood
Metropolitan borough Solihull
Metropolitan county West Midlands
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Birmingham
Postcode district B37
Dialling code 0121
Police West Midlands
Fire West Midlands
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament Meriden
List of places
UK
England
West Midlands

Coordinates: 52°28′34″N 1°43′45″W / 52.47612°N 1.72906°W / 52.47612; -1.72906

Chelmsley Wood is a neighbourhood, civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull, England, with a population of 12,425.[1] It is located near Birmingham International Airport and the National Exhibition Centre. It lies adjacent to Birmingham. There are several bus routes linking the town to Birmingham city centre, about 8 miles (13 km) away, and to Solihull town centre.

History

Chelmsley Wood is a relatively new area, which was built by Birmingham City Council in the 1960s on ancient woodland (part of the Forest of Arden) as an overspill town for Birmingham. Permission for the construction of the overspill estate on green belt land was granted by Richard Crossman as Minister of Housing and Local Government.[2] A shopping centre (which opened on 7 April 1970), a library (completed in 1970 at £240,000),[3] hall and a few public houses. With the adjoining neighbourhoods of Fordbridge and Smith's Wood it became part of Metropolitan Borough of Solihull in 1974.

Today, the name Chelmsley Wood is synonymous with one and a half thousand across of brick, concrete and glass to provide fifteen and a half thousand dwellings in houses and multi-storey began in May. 1965 and the first rates were levied on houses in Oak croft on 6 March 1967. Such was the scale of the operation that a development company was to design finance and build a complete town centre which was officially opened by H.M. The Queen on 7 April 1972. The decision to build at Chelmsley Wood was taken by the Minister of Housing on 17 September 1965, following a public enquiry. Objections were raised to the scheme, particularly from Meriden Rural District Council and the local Parish Councils, on grounds of amenity and the threat to the green belt separating Birmingham and Coventry. The Minister also considered a similar application for the use of nearly 300 acres at Wythall to the south of Birmingham, but this was turned down. By the end of the Second World War, in 1945, three thousand homes had been destroyed by German bombers IN Birmingham and there was to be no house building in the city for six years. So the programme of slum clearance had been halted. This meant there was a terrific demand for homes. Estates were built within the city in such areas of Castle Vales and "Battle Of Britain’ R.A.F. base, and at Bromford Bridge on the site of the city’s former racecourse. By 1963, there was no land available within the city boundary, the population was increasing and it was estimated that there would be a deficiency of 43,000 dwellings in 1971, which would have been worse than it had been in 1959. At a meeting of the Houses Building Committee in February, 1965, it was decided to name the new Development "Chelmsley Wood" The Name "Chelmsley" is of considerable antiquity. It indicates settlement of Saxon origin- the enclosure of Ceolmund. Ceolmund Crescent is the name of the road that passes by the police station, and the Post Office Tower in the town centre. [4] [5]

Transport

Marston Green train station

National Express West Midlands operate a number of buses in and around the Chelmsley Wood area. Chelmsley Wood shopping centre has a bus interchange which hosts buses that go to and from Birmingham city centre, Solihull town centre, Coleshill, Warwickshire, Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham International Airport.

The closest railway station is at Marston Green which is about 1.04 mile (1.74km) from Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre. From there, there are trains to Coventry, Birmingham International Airport, Birmingham city centre and The National Exhibition Centre.

Leisure

North Solihull Sports Centre is the largest and most used sports centre in Chelmsley Wood and the surrounding areas. It hosts two swimming pools, a sports hall, fitness suite, studio, crèche and café bar. It also hosts an outdoor running track, and an astroturf pitch. [6]

Recent development

Plans are currently under way to carry out the largest renovation of older parts of the area since the demolition of many high-rise blocks of flats in the early 1990s. The current plans propose changes to the central shopping centre area. A new supermarket was opened in the town centre in June 2009. There is also proposed modernisation of housing and commercial buildings in the Craig Croft area. In addition, there will be the renovation of the library and surrounding buildings.

The new development hosts an Asda supermarket, and new library complex.

Demographics

Chelmsley Wood's comprehensive school, Whitesmore School, was demolished and replaced by Grace Academy at a cost of £32 million.[7]

Politically, Chelmsley Wood voters have been known for their strong support of Labour candidates at both local and national elections. However, in the 2006 election, the Chelmsley Wood ward of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council elected a candidate from the British National Party, the first in Solihull's history. The elected candidate, George Morgan, won by a margin of 19 votes. In the 2010 election the seat went to Labour after George Morgan stood down with the BNP vote falling dramatically and the Green Party finishing second to Labour by 22 votes.[8]

References

  1. ^ : page 4 2011 ward profile : Parish Headcounts : Solihull Retrieved 2009-11-22
  2. ^ Stephen Victor Ward (1994). Planning and Urban Change. Sage Publications. ISBN 1-85396-218-X. 
  3. ^ Thomas Greenwood (1971). The Libraries, Museums and Art Galleries Year Book. New York: J. Clarke. 
  4. ^ http://www.abebooks.co.uk/Around-Chelmsley-Times-Past-Holyoak-Michael/5568442664/bd
  5. ^ http://www.solihull.gov.uk/localhistory/16364.htm
  6. ^ http://www.leisurecentre.com/Centre-Home/north-solihull-sports-centre-swimming-gym-spinning-tennis/3.aspx#
  7. ^ Grace Academy (Solihull)
  8. ^ "Local Election Results 2010". Solihull Council. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 


External links