Call to 'join hands' at Edgbaston Reservoir as concern grows over public access

Campaigners have issued a rallying call for Brummies to "join hands" at one of the city's most loved green spaces to ensure it remains open to the public. The prominent former Tower Ballroom site on Edgbaston Reservoir is being marketed for housing and concern has been triggered about the fate of the footpath included in the sale.

Residents have united to fight plans to sell off a section of the public 2.8km footpath that skirts the water's edge. They fear privatisation of a section of the walkway could hand over control of access to developers and landowners.

They have objected to the decision to include the waterfront path and a nearby historic building in the sale listing and have formally submitted their opposition to Birmingham City Council over its proposals for the former Tower Ballroom site. An event set up by by Tower Green Alliance has called on concerned residents to meet this Sunday, April 21, for a "peaceful but powerful expression of unity."

READ MORE: Battle on to keep Edgbaston reservoir circular path 'out of private hands'

Get breaking news on BirminghamLive WhatsApp

The event, which takes place at 11am at the Reservoir on Sunday and is being advertised on Facebook, states: "Join us in linking hands around this section of the pathway so we can send a message of unity. Bring your friends and family.

"This is part of an important movement with the objectives that any development surrounding Edgbaston Reservoir is inclusive, community and environmentally focussed. This event is organised by Tower Green Alliance, a group of organisations and individuals who promote community access on and around the site of the old Tower Ballroom.

"Save the Edgbaston Reservoir supports these aims and is promoting this event on behalf of TGA." You can read the full event details here.

The vacant former site of the Tower Ballroom is for sale, with Birmingham City Council searching for a developer to deliver ‘much-needed’ housing in the area. Commercial real estate agents Avison Young has listed the site on Rightmove in search of a partner ‘capable of delivering a development in support of the Edgbaston Masterplan.’ The deadline was the end of March.

The ballroom has been earmarked for housing since 2017 and is identified in the Birmingham Development Plan as an area to deliver housing. The council said the Edgbaston Reservoir Masterplan set out a vision to provide high-quality, affordable family housing while protecting the natural environment.

The council said the inclusion of the land down to the water's edge was vital to the package. Read more on the council's plans, and the objections raised by residents, here.

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: "Any developer submitting a scheme that puts this idea in conflict with the clear design guidelines and policies that we have would be immediately disqualified from our process of selection."

Should Birmingham City Councillors be paid more?'