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    A building is listed when it is considered to be of special architectural or historic interest at a national level and is therefore worthy of special legal protection in the planning system. Buildings and structures can be listed Grade I or Grade II* or Grade II, but regardless of the…

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    It is Thursday, 16th October 1834. Thousands of spectators are on the streets of London. Balconies are crammed with people eager to see the astounding spectacle of the Houses of Parliament being consumed by fire. The eminent architect Charles Barry returns to London aboard a packed stagecoach determined to win…

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    Coventry is bidding to be UK City of Culture in 2021. It is a city of great historical significance and world class potential, but it took many knocks in the Twentieth Century that dented its image. Could public realm investment be the key to Coventry being a City of Culture winner?…

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    The visitor to Warwick Castle progresses through the countryside with a growing appreciation that they are approaching greatness. The landscape itself is a character in the unfolding drama.

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    “An adventure in one of the most wonderful places on earth” Kivu, an orphaned mountain gorilla, rules over Silverback Valley in the extraordinary African rainforest. Under his watchful protection the animals are kept safe. When a severe storm brings the arrival of a fierce crocodile, it threatens the future of the…

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    “I took the idea of hobbits from the village people and children… it was a kind of lost paradise.” JRR Tolkien on Sarehole Mill, his Midland’s home, (from an interview given to the Guardian in 1966).

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    We’ve been helping design aficionados at the Selfridges store in Birmingham to understand why Birmingham and Milan are sister cities. Both have a proud industrial heritage and a historic reputation for design excellence. In the Victorian period Birmingham played a key role in the birth of the international Arts and…

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    Diane Keaton, actress and conservationist, describes Los Angeles as being 72 suburbs in search of a city. Where is the city centre? She says it’s in the imagination of the Angelenos. “… It’s the store shaped like a camera on Wilshire. It’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s crumbling Ennis Brown House. It’s…

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    2016 marks the 175th anniversary of two important Gothic buildings designed by Pugin in Birmingham. The stunning St Chad’s Cathedral, (the first cathedral to be built in England since Wren completed St Paul’s in London) and the beautiful Saint Mary’s Convent, built for – and still occupied by the Sisters of…

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    A new Royal Town Council will be established with the first election of councillors in May 2016, following a massive 70% yes vote.

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    “An adventure in one of the most wonderful places on earth”

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    Shakespeare is likely to have visited his mother’s family, the Arden’s, who lived at Peddimore on the edge of the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, on the edge of the Forest of Arden. From Peddimore Shakespeare probably walked through New Hall valley to have a pint or two in the Three…

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    Sutton Coldfield’s residents have been working for years to hold a ballot to restore an independent town council. The town council will give Sutton’s 100,000 residents a civic voice. It will reinstate a mayor to promote the town’s identity and public life. It will breathe new life into Sutton and it…

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    All residents of Sutton Coldfield on the electoral register have received a ballot paper to vote on the creation of a new Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council. Some further clarity is needed on how much it will cost local residents. Most parish and town councils in Warwickshire charge a precept…

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    In 2011-12 Tesco recorded a record profit of £3.8 bn, but for 2014-15 it has recorded a record loss of £6.4 bn. The decline in the value of its property portfolio comes as a direct result of falling footfall in many of its out of town superstores.

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    Birmingham City Council’s consultation paper, published in response to Sutton Coldfield’s 10,000 residents who have petitioned for a new town council, has been described as a ‘cynical’ document designed to put residents off challenging the status quo. For example the consultation paper lists the powers that town councils had in…