One of the things that’s surprised me about the new Oak Park Active Living Centre, built and opened on the field of the previous one to a positive reception in 2016, has been it’s immense popularity – with the facility likely to see in excess of two million visitors this year.
Without doubt, the brand new recreation and sports facility has been very popular indeed – which has been causing some pressure on parking at the centre, leading to many complaints, particularly about enforcement actions being taken by Walsall Council in respect to misuse of the parking area, resulting in quite a few users getting tickets.
When the centre opened, it provided a 96-space car park, coupled with the old car park which provided 124 spaces, giving 220 spaces in total.
Sadly, users for whatever reason have been reluctant to use the old car park and this has resulted in at times, what can only be described as utter chaos. The sheer lack of concern for others demonstrated by a significant minority of drivers is astounding.
The good news is that Walsall Council have acknowledged the problem and have submitted a planning application to add 166 spaces on the site of the old leisure centre, between the new one and the old car park, behind the school.
The kicker here is that to do this, two junior football pitches that were to be created there no will not be provided now. I feel quite sad about this, but it’s a sign of the times.
A very detailed, well argued planning statement which you can read here gives reasons why the car park can’t go anywhere else: Mainly due to land ownership issues, but the spot many people have suggested – on the embankment by the Coppice Lane/Brownhills Road junction isn’t possible due to drain tanks underneath (which is why the embankment is there). Which just goes to show, civil engineering is often more complicated than the bloke in the pub seems to think…
You can check out the application no. FL18/0095 here – the documents are well worth a read but the main ones to look at are:
Location Plan 25-01-18.pdf
Location Plan 18-05-18.pdf
The application hasn’t been considered yet but I’d be very surprised were it not approved.
So – a solution in sight for all those grumbling about parking at the Oak Park Active Living Centre – at the cost of sporting facilities for children.
We are actually now in a place as a society, where providing car parking provision for people visiting a building in order to ride a stationary bicycle is more pressing than children’s sport. I actually know people that drive from Walsall Wood and Shire Oak to visit the centre. I find that sad, and regrettable. But such is life.
How very 2018.
Your comments and observations are welcome: Comment here or mail me – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.