We have been very busy behind the scenes since our last big co-presentation and feedback event with the Kings Heath Residents Forum back in February which had a fantastic turnout. All of your feedback, comments and suggestions have been invaluable and have helped form the final DIY Streets project report and have underpinned our direction throughout the project.
Our main focus through DIY Streets was the High Street. However, particularly towards the end of the project we had lots of feedback about the wider area and the issues that people felt that needed to be tackled there too. We felt that it was important to factor these into the long term vision for the area which reflects the aspirations of the community. The final report contains a summary of the DIY Streets project engagement process and the resulting design recommendations which have been formed directly from the community feedback we have had over the past 18 months. You can now view a copy of this here: DIY Streets final report May 2015.
What’s next? In terms of Sustrans DIY Streets KH, the funding for this project through Big Lottery ends on the 31st May 2015 as planned, which means there will no longer be a full time Sustrans project officer working in Kings Heath. The DIY Streets design recommendations and report have been presented to the Council to take forward as they see fit.
Phil Jones Associates, who are a very experienced national transport planning consultancy have been commissioned to draw up a detailed final design for the central section of the High Street based upon our recommendations. They are also carrying out further traffic analysis and topographical surveys. The final design they produce will be informed by further data and findings to support any proposals and build upon the work Sustrans have already done.
How will you be updated in the future? Our DIY Streets social media will continue running until the final designs are completed to be able to continue sharing updates and information with you. Although the community consultation will take a more traditional approach through the City Council formal consultation processes in relation to the finalised designs now the Sustrans DIY Streets community-led element of the design process is almost complete. We have now handed recommendations over to the City Council for them to take forward and deliver.
In terms of the local community, there is an active network of community groups across Kings Heath who we have worked closely with and will no doubt wish to carry on the initiatives in terms of improving the area and taking forward certain aspects of the KH vision.
Its farewell from me….. After a fantastic time working on DIY Streets I am now moving onto a new job in Leeds. I’m going to be sad to leave my role as it has been lovely to work with such a lovely community and having such supportive groups and individuals in Kings Heath has enabled us to achieve a great deal over such a short space of time! We’ve managed to do some brilliant things over the last 18+ months with your support and building upon all of the great work that had been done in KH pre-DIY Streets. Even if it has been just stopping to fill out a post-it note at one of our street workshops, coming along to a meeting or sending over an idea through email, it has all helped us to be able to co-design a community led vision for Kings Heath. So a big thank you! Jenny.