Black Patch Park improvement plan

Published 8th November 2018

Scores of new houses and much-needed improvements to the local park are planned for the run-down Black Patch district in Smethwick in a bid to breathe new life and community spirit into the area.

The proposals for the area have been drawn up by planning experts at Sandwell Council.  
The council is anxious to radically improve the lives of people living in the area which has been affected by anti-social behaviour and illegal traveller encampments and has plans to rejuvenate the local park which has deteriorated due to a lack of investment and vandalism. 
The plan includes good quality housing close to the good public transport options and the improved park will provide leisure and recreational activities to help in improving the health and well-being of new residents. 
Sites at Kitchener Street and the Merry Hill Allotments site have been earmarked for homes and the improvements will lead to an improvement in the environmental quality of the areas, which has been in decline in recent years. 
The council’s decision to include houses in the scheme has been widely welcomed in a far-reaching consultation by local people and from organisations such as the Smethwick Environment Group, Historic England and a neighbouring Birmingham city councillor.
The Friends of Black Patch group welcome the vision for the Black Patch area to re-establish itself as a residential community, surrounding an improved park and ask for an amendment in the plan to retain some of the allotments site which is threatened with closure. 
They also ask that the existing cycle route from the canal through Black Patch Park and allotments to the Metro Station. 
Councillor Paul Moore, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is an exciting overall plan to improve the Black Patch Park which needs and deserves investment and better facilities. 
“We have been delighted with the responses to our consultation process and especially those from local residents who in general are delighted that we are to provide more homes and a much- improved park.
“This work will take some time to pull together but we are determined to get action under way as soon as possible so that the people living in that area now will see a better and brighter future.”

The proposals go to the council's cabinet meeting on Wednesday 14 November 2018.