1: Who are Spring and why is BVT partnering with them and not running the scheme themselves?
You can read more about Spring on our About the Beeches and Partnership with Spring page or the Spring website. One of our core values is partnership and BVT works with organisations that have specific skills and expertise. Spring has an excellent reputation and experience in managing social housing, which is why we wanted to work with them. The physical alterations to the existing site are being funded through a grant from Birmingham City Council (who get funding from central government) and Spring has the experience and expertise to manage this type of funding and refurbishment.
2: Who will maintain the grounds and apartments?
We will be leasing the site (including buildings, green space and car park) to Spring. The lease arrangement means Spring will manage the day-to-day running of the housing scheme. This includes arranging for repairs where needed and maintaining the grounds. Whilst Spring will be the main provider of services at the Beeches, we will continue to manage the wider Bournville neighbourhood around the scheme and work with Spring and residents to respond to any issues that may arise.
3: Who do I contact if I have concerns about the boundary or broken fencing?
Please contact BVT in the first instance by calling 0300 333 6540 or email email@example.com
4: Where will families and staff park?
The car park at the front of the building will be retained to provide sufficient parking for families, visitors and staff. There is also existing parking to the rear.
5: When will the work to the building start and what will this look like?
A planning application has now been made to Birmingham City Council and you can view it at https://eplanning.birmingham.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/Generic/StdDetails.aspx?PT=Planning%20Applications%20On-Line&TYPE=PL/PlanningPK.xml&PARAM0=1278948&XSLT=/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/Birmingham/xslt/PL/PLDe Building works can only begin once planning permission has been granted. As part of the planning application, you can also view design plans.
6: What facilities will there be onsite for families?
Existing gardens will be retained to give families space to play and enjoy green, open space. Off site, Bournville has lots of green open spaces, parks and facilities for the community. Families moving into the Beeches will be made aware of these. We have also spoken with local partners who have committed to working with us and Spring to welcome new families to their space/facility and events and activities.
7: What will be the impact on local services, for example school places, GP access, etc?
If families moving to the Beeches wish to change their child’s school, they will have to complete a ‘change of school in-year’ application. If the school a family requests has places, their child will be offered a place. If the school doesn’t have places, their child will be put on the waiting list for their preferred school, and they will be offered a place at the nearest available school. There are several GP surgeries in the area and families who wish to change their GP will need to register with a surgery accepting new patients.
8: How will families be directed to local services, community centres, places of worship, play groups, etc?
As part of Spring’s tenancy induction, all families will be informed of the facilities available in the area. Information will also be provided within their Welcome Packs and in communal areas. Spring will also provide a notice board detailing local amenities.
9: How are you working with other stakeholders? Who have you engaged?
So far, we have engaged with West Midlands Police, the local MP and Councillors, local schools, community groups and organisations working in the area. This is an ongoing conversation which will continue throughout the process of repurposing the Beeches.
10: How can I keep informed and updated about the Beeches?
We want to continue to respond to any concerns residents may have and provide further opportunities to ask questions and stay informed. Having listened to immediate neighbours of the Beeches who attended briefings in September, we have invited these residents to join a ‘Friends of The Beeches’ group that will meet regularly and provide an opportunity to hear details as the project develops, continue to raise concerns or questions and get involved in working with us and Spring to ensure we deliver the outcomes we aim to. We will also be updating the information within this section of our website.
11: When will families start moving in and how can we ensure they are welcomed into the community?
Once planning permission has been granted and the building refurbished, we envisage families will begin to move into apartments from spring 2024 at the earliest. These dates may change subject to planning and building works. Families will move into the Beeches in a phased manner (i.e., not all families at the same time) to ensure families, and local residents, are able to adjust to the change in use of the Beeches. Bournville already offers a wide range of activities, events and places for the local community to enjoy. As the Beeches develops, we will work with Spring and local groups and community places to make families aware of the activities and events happening so they can participate if they wish.
12: What will happen to the families at the end of the lease?
The lease arrangement with Spring Housing is for six years. After this, the site returns to BVT where we expect to use it for long-term development. This is likely to mean the scheme will end, and no more families will move in. Well in advance of the lease ending, BVT and Spring will work together to ensure there is a clear plan for families living at the Beeches so they are not moved back into unsuitable accommodation. This will include Spring supporting families to access housing with other providers, either through the local authority or private accommodation.
13: Will there be security and CCTV on the site?
Spring operate an emergency out of hour 24 hour response line, managed by Spring managers from across the charity, and have a mobile security worker.
14: How will anti-social behaviour (ASB) be managed, either against residents living at the Beeches or if residents carry out ASB themselves?
Spring has an ASB Policy linked directly to tenancy agreements. As part of its tenancy sign up and induction, residents are made fully aware of their rights and responsibilities and the consequences of any breach. Spring also work in partnership with local agencies, such as the police and PSCO teams, to actively engage and reduce the likelihood of ASB.
15: How is this work being funded?
The physical alterations to the existing site are being funded through a grant from Birmingham City Council (who get funding from central government).