New allotments for Brownhills and Chasetown – what do you think?

Hey folks – a couple of weeks ago I featured an article prompted by an email from Declan Hammonds of Sewell Hammods Group who have purchased a site near Chasewater that was for many years occupied by a sewage works. It sits on the area of land between the canal and Chasetown Bypass/M6 Toll interchange, in an area sometimes referred to as ‘The Sandhills’.

I’ve tried finding a web presence for Brownhills Allotment Society mentioned on the flyer but can’t find anything, which is curious. They appear to have had a twitter account which was deleted. And contact for them would be useful please.

You can read that post here, which gives the location, or see the foot of this post where I’ve included it again for completeness.

The approximate proposed site. Imagery from Apple Maps.

Declan is fielding views from readers about converting the site into allotments, which seems like a fine idea to me.

Declan wrote to me last week:

Good Afternoon,

I write further to my previous email concerning the former Brownhills Sewage Works in Walsall. We have read with interest your post on the matter and the replies of your readers.

After a number of enquiries into our intentions at the site, we are exploring the possibility of providing allotment gardens. We would be interested in your view/opinions on the matter.

We would also be very keen to hear from your readers as stakeholders in the site, being that many of them probably use the footpath network that crosses it.

Regards
Declan

Declan Hammonds BSc (Hons) MICFor MArborA
Director

So, what do you think? Please do comment here or mail me – comment is probably better here where it’s easier for Declan to find than on social media.

Cheers all, and thanks to Declan for being so considerate.

I originally posted:

1938 1:2,500 ordnance survey plot of Anglesey Wharf overlaid on recent Google Earth imagery. The lost sewage works is circled. Click for a larger version.

An interesting enquiry came in recently from Declan Hammonds, who is interested in the history of a bit of edgeland in Brownhills, between the former Anglesey Wharf and the M6 Toll/Chasetown Bypass interchange that used to contain a sewage works.

The works is marked on some maps as Lichfield Rural District Council, and on others, Brownhills.

Declan asked:

Good Evening,
We have recently purchased the site of the former Brownhills RDC Sewage Works off Whitehorse road in Walsall (over the canal bridge) and wonder if this is the site mentioned and photographed in your blog.
Whilst the land has been purchased through our company, I take great interest in historical land use and wonder if you have any information on when the site last operated or was demolished.
The site has been cleared in its entirety and all that remains of its past is the sign (picture attached) and a few sporadic manhole covers.
Regards
Declan

The sewage works – clearly demolished – as seen in the 1963 NCB aerial survey. Click for a larger version. Image courtesy of Lichfield District Council.

The facility seems to have been gone by 1963, when the NCB did their aerial survey of the area – this above shows the adjacent sand quarry growing and what appears to be the remains of the circular filter beds on the ground.

If I’m honest, I’m unclear whose sewage this installation would have been filtering unless there was a sewer under the canal, but I’d say it discharged into the nearby Crane Brook. The White Horse Estate doesn’t seem to have grown until after the plant’s demise.

This 1962 1:1250 Ordnance Survey excerpt shows the sewage works expanded and still functional – but this will have been exhibiting mapping lag so it wasn’t necessarily there in 1962 at all. Click for a larger version.

Can anyone help please? It’s a really good question and a local feature I’d noted before but not really thought about. There has been some discussion of this in the past, but nothing solid. As it were.

If you can help, please do: Comment on this post, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or tap my window on social media. Cheers to Declan for a really interesting enquiry.

The only remnant? Image kindly supplied by Declan Hammonds.

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7 Responses to New allotments for Brownhills and Chasetown – what do you think?

  1. Rich says:

    Sounds great. I’m presuming water and the like would be available on site given its historic use? When would plots become available ?

  2. Mark says:

    When will these be available and would pigeons be allowed on the plots?

  3. Christine McCreery says:

    Hi there are actually no allotment sites in Brownhills to my knowledge. The nearest ones are Clayhanger and Rushall. I volunteer on the management committee of the Walsall Greenspaces Forum. My specialism is allotments. I am also part of the team that run Borneo St allotments in Walsall. I would be happy to liaise with Sewell Hammonds in relation to getting this project set up. There is a very high demand for allotments currently. I would also be happy to take them to the best sites in Walsall to show them what they should be aiming for

    • Declan says:

      Hi Christine, this sounds great. It would be fantastic to meet up at some point (Social Distancing Permitting) to go over a few ideas we have for the site and also to get your input.

      Please feel free to email me at d.hammonds@sewellhammonds.co.uk

      Regards
      Declan
      The Sewell Hammonds Group

  4. geoguider says:

    Provided there would be access to water, parking, basic toilet facilities and the usual associated facilities with allotments, it would be a real benefit to the Community. If local schools could also be involved that would be great

  5. Paul Evans says:

    As long as it doesn’t encroach on the Sandhills dirt jumps, the guys down there have been doing superb work, and it’s not exactly like there’s loads to do for the youth of Brownhills .

  6. Sylwia Staniszek says:

    Please let me know when the plots will be available 🙂 fantastic idea, I really need one

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