Offa of Mercia
Offa was King of Mercia, a kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England, from 757 until his death in July 796. The son of Thingfrith and a descendant of Eowa, Offa came to the throne after a period of civil war following the assassination of Æthelbald. Offa defeated Beornred. In the early years of Offa's reign, it is that he consolidated his control of Midland peoples such as the Hwicce and the Magonsæte. Taking advantage of instability in the kingdom of Kent to establish himself as overlord, Offa controlled Sussex by 771, though his authority did not remain unchallenged in either territory. In the 780s he extended Mercian Supremacy over most of southern England, allying with Beorhtric of Wessex, who married Offa's daughter Eadburh, regained complete control of the southeast, he became the overlord of East Anglia and had King Æthelberht II of East Anglia beheaded in 794 for rebelling against him. Offa was a Christian king who came into conflict with the Church with Jænberht, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Offa persuaded Pope Adrian I to divide the archdiocese of Canterbury in two, creating a new archdiocese of Lichfield.
This reduction in the power of Canterbury may have been motivated by Offa's desire to have an archbishop consecrate his son Ecgfrith as king, since it is possible Jænberht refused to perform the ceremony, which took place in 787. Offa had a dispute with the Bishop of Worcester, settled at the Council of Brentford in 781. Many surviving coins from Offa's reign carry elegant depictions of him, the artistic quality of these images exceeds that of the contemporary Frankish coinage; some of his coins carry images of his wife, Cynethryth—the only Anglo-Saxon queen depicted on a coin. Only three gold coins of Offa's have survived: one is a copy of an Abbasid dinar of 774 and carries Arabic text on one side, with "Offa Rex" on the other; the gold coins are of uncertain use but may have been struck to be used as alms or for gifts to Rome. Many historians regard Offa as the most powerful Anglo-Saxon king before Alfred the Great, his dominance never extended to Northumbria, though he gave his daughter Ælfflæd in marriage to the Northumbrian king Æthelred I in 792.
Historians once saw his reign as part of a process leading to a unified England, but this is no longer the majority view. In the words of a recent historian: "Offa was driven by a lust for power, not a vision of English unity. Offa died in 796. In the first half of the 8th century, the dominant Anglo-Saxon ruler was King Æthelbald of Mercia, who by 731 had become the overlord of all the provinces south of the River Humber. Æthelbald was one of a number of strong Mercian kings who ruled from the mid-7th century to the early 9th, it was not until the reign of Egbert of Wessex in the 9th century that Mercian power began to wane. The power and prestige that Offa attained made him one of the most significant rulers in Early Medieval Britain, though no contemporary biography of him survives. A key source for the period is the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a collection of annals in Old English narrating the history of the Anglo-Saxons; the Chronicle was a West Saxon production, is sometimes thought to be biased in favour of Wessex.
That power can be seen at work in charters dating from Offa's reign. Charters were documents which granted land to followers or to churchmen and were witnessed by the kings who had the authority to grant the land. A charter might record the names of both a subject king and his overlord on the witness list appended to the grant; such a witness list can be seen on the Ismere Diploma, for example, where Æthelric, son of king Oshere of the Hwicce, is described as a "subregulus", or subking, of Æthelbald's. The eighth-century monk and chronicler the Venerable Bede wrote a history of the English church called Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum. Offa's Dyke, most of, built in his reign, is a testimony to the extensive resources Offa had at his command and his ability to organise them. Other surviving sources include a problematic document known as the Tribal Hidage, which may provide further evidence of Offa's scope as a ruler, though its attribution to his reign is disputed. A significant corpus of letters dates from the period from Alcuin, an English deacon and scholar who spent over a decade at Charlemagne's court as one of his chief advisors, corresponded with kings and ecclesiastics throughout England.
These letters in particular reveal Offa's relations with the continent, as does his coinage, based on Carolingian examples. Offa's ancestry is given in the Anglian collection, a set of genealogies that include lines of descent for four Mercian kings. All four lines descend from Pybba. Offa's line descends through Pybba's son Eowa and through three more generations: Osmod and Offa's father, Thingfrith. Æthelbald, who ruled Mercia for most of the forty years before Offa, was descended from Eowa according to the genealogies: Offa's grandfather, was Æthelbald's first cousin. Æthelbald granted land to Eanwulf in the territory of the Hwicce, it is possible that Offa and Æthelbald were from the same branch of the family. In one charter Offa refers to Æthelbald as his kinsman, Headbert, Æthelbald's brother, continued to witness charters after Offa rose to power. Offa's wife was Cynethryth, whose ancestry is u
West Midlands (region)
The West Midlands is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It covers the western half of the area traditionally known as the Midlands, it contains Birmingham and the larger West Midlands conurbation, the third most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Coventry is located within the West Midlands county, but is separated from the conurbation to the west by several miles of green belt; the region contains 6 shire counties which stretch from the Welsh Border to the East Midlands. The region is geographically diverse, from the urban central areas of the conurbation to the rural western counties of Shropshire and Herefordshire which border Wales; the longest river in the UK, the River Severn, traverses the region southeastwards, flowing through the county towns of Shrewsbury and Worcester, the Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Staffordshire is home to the industrialised Potteries conurbation, including the city of Stoke-on-Trent, the Staffordshire Moorlands area, which borders the southeastern Peak District National Park near Leek.
The region encompasses five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Wye Valley, Shropshire Hills, Cannock Chase, Malvern Hills, parts of the Cotswolds. Warwickshire is home to the towns of Stratford upon Avon, birthplace of writer William Shakespeare, the birthplace of Rugby football and Nuneaton, birthplace to author George Eliot; the official region contains the ceremonial counties of Herefordshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire. There is some confusion in the use of the term "West Midlands", as the name is used for the much smaller West Midlands county and conurbation, in the central belt of the Midlands and on the eastern side of the West Midlands Region, it is still used by various organisations within that area, such as West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire Service. The highest point in the region is Black Mountain, at 703 metres in west Herefordshire on the border with Powys, Wales; the region contains five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the Shropshire Hills, Malvern Hills and Cannock Chase, parts of the Wye Valley and Cotswolds.
The Peak District national park stretches into the northern corner of Staffordshire. Served by many lines in the urban areas such as the West Coast Main Line and branches; the Welsh Marches Line and the Cotswold Line transect the region as well as the Cross Country Route and Chiltern Line. There are plans to reopen the Honeybourne Line. Numerous notable roads pass with most converging around the central conurbation; the M5, which connects South West England to the region, passes through Worcestershire, near to Worcester, through the West Midlands county, past West Bromwich, with its northern terminus at its junction with the M6 just south of Walsall. The M6, which has its southern terminus just outside the southeast of the region at its junction with the M1, which connects the region to North West England, passes Rugby and Nuneaton in Warwickshire and Birmingham, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire; the M6 toll provides an alternative route to the M6 between Coleshill and Cannock, passing north of Sutton Coldfield and just south of Lichfield.
The M40 connects the region through South East England to London, with its northern terminus at its junction with the M42. The M42 connects the M5 at Bromsgrove, passing around the south and east of Birmingham, joining the M40 and M6, passing Solihull and Castle Bromwich, to Tamworth, northeast of Birmingham; the M50 connects the M5 from near Tewkesbury to Ross-on-Wye in the southwest. The M54 connects Wellington in the west, to the M6 near Cannock; the A5 road traverses the region northwest-southeast, passing through Shrewsbury, Cannock and Nuneaton. The longest elevated road viaduct in the UK is the 3 miles section from Gravelly Hill to Castle Bromwich on the M6, opened on 24 May 1972; the section of the A45 in Coventry from Willenhall to Allesley in 1939 was one of the UK's first large planned road schemes. Princes Square in Wolverhampton had Britain's first automatic traffic lights on 5 November 1927. On 13 January 2012, 34-year-old Ben Westwood of Wednesfield, was caught by the police, when speeding at 180 mph, in an Audi RS5 with a Lamborghini engine, from Wolverhampton up to Stafford on the M6, back again.
He was travelling so fast that he was outpacing the Central Counties Air Operations Unit Eurocopter helicopter. He and the vehicle had been in fifteen smash and grab raids and he was jailed for nine years at Wolverhampton Crown Court in August 2012; as part of the transport planning system, the Regional Assembly is under statutory requirement to produce a regional transport strategy to provide long term planning for transport in the region. This involves region wide transport schemes such as those carried out by Highways England and Network Rail. Within the region, the local transport authorities carry out transport planning through the use of a local transport plan which outlines their strategies and implementation programme; the most recent LTP is that for the period 2006–11. In the West Midlands region, the following transport authorities have published their LTP online: Herefordshire, Shropshire U. A. Staffordshire and Wrekin U. A. Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire; the transport authority of Stoke-on-Trent U.
A. publishes a joint local transport plan in partnership with
B postcode area
The B postcode area known as the Birmingham postcode area, provides postcodes for the city of Birmingham, boroughs of Solihull and parts of Warwickshire, Walsall and Staffordshire in England. The approximate coverage of the postcode districts: B1 1AA is Birmingham Head Post office. B1 1BB is Birmingham Council House Before the introduction of postcodes in the 1960s, Birmingham along with other major cities were divided into numbered postal districts. With a few exceptions these were directly incorporated into the outcode. For example, Great Barr was Birmingham 22 and Smethwick was Smethwick 40 and 41. List of postcode areas in the United Kingdom Postcode Address File Royal Mail's Postcode Address File A quick introduction to Royal Mail's Postcode Address File
The term thegn, from Old English þegn, ðegn, "servant, retainer", "one who serves", is used to describe either an aristocratic retainer of a king or nobleman in Anglo-Saxon England, or, as a class term, the majority of the aristocracy below the ranks of ealdormen and high-reeves. It is the term for an early medieval Scandinavian class of retainers. Old English þeġn is cognate with Old High German Old Norse þegn; the thegn had a military significance, its usual Latin translation was miles, meaning soldier, although minister was used. Joseph Bosworth describes a thegn as "one engaged in a king's or a queen's service, whether in the household or in the country", adds: "the word in this case seems to acquire a technical meaning, to become a term denoting a class, however, several degrees". But, like all other words of the kind, the word thegn was changing its meaning, and, "the name, like that of the gesith, has different senses in different ages and kingdoms, but the original idea of military service runs through all the meanings of thegn, as that of personal association is traceable in all the applications of gesith".
After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, William the Conqueror replaced the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy with Normans and the new Norman ruling class replaced the Anglo-Saxon terminology with Norman. In this process, king's thegns became barons, the thegn class merged with the norman knight class; the precursor of the thegn was the gesith, the companion of the king or great lord, a member of his comitatus, the word thegn began to be used to describe a military gesith. It is only used once in the laws before the time of Aethelstan, but more in the charters. H. M. Chadwick says that "the sense of subordination must have been inherent in the word from the earliest time", but it has no connection with the German/Dutch dienen, to serve. In the course of time it extended its meaning and was more used; the thegn became a member of a territorial nobility, the dignity of thegnhood was attainable by those who fulfilled certain conditions. The nobility of pre-Conquest England was ranked according to the heriot they paid in the following descending order: earl, king's thegn, median thegn.
In Anglo-Saxon hierarchic society, a king's thegn attended in person upon the king, bringing with him his men and resources. A "median" thegn did not hold his land directly through an intermediary lord; the thegn was inferior to the ætheling, the member of a kingly family, but he was superior to the ceorl and, says Chadwick, "from the time of Æthelstan the distinction between thegn and ceorl was the broad line of demarcation between the classes of society". His status is shown by his weregild. Over a large part of England this was fixed at six times that of the ceorl, he was the twelfhynde man of the laws divided from the twyhynde man or ceorl. In a document known as Geþyncðo we learn: "And if a ceorl throve, so that he had five hides of his own land and kitchen, bellhouse and burh-gate-seat, special duty in the king's hail was he thenceforth of thegn-right worthy." A hide of land was considered sufficient to support a family. And again—"And if a merchant throve, so that he fared thrice over the wide sea by his own means was he thenceforth of thegn-right worthy."
In a similar manner a successful thegn might hope to become an earl. In addition to the thegns there were others who were thegns on account of their birth, thus thegnhood was inherited and acquired; the twelve senior thegns of the hundred play a part, the nature of, rather doubtful, in the development of the English system of justice. By a law of Aethelred they "seem to have acted as the judicial committee of the court for the purposes of accusation," and thus they have some connection with the grand jury of modern times; the increase in the number of thegns produced in time a subdivision of the order. There arose a class of king's thegns, corresponding to the earlier thegns, a larger class of inferior thegns, some of them the thegns of bishops or of other thegns. A king's thegn was a person of great importance, the contemporary idea being shown by the Latin translation of the words as comes, he had certain special privileges. No one save the king had the right of jurisdiction over him, while by a law of Canute we learn that he paid a larger heriot than an ordinary thegn.
In Domesday Book, OE þegn has become tainus in the Latin form, but the word does not imply high status. Domesday Book lists the taini who hold lands directly from the king at the end of their respective counties, but the term became devalued because there were so many thegns. Compare the separate development of the concept of "vassal", from a warlord's henchman to one of Charlemagne's great companions. During the part of the 10th and in the 11th centuries in Denmark and Sweden, it became common for families or comrades to raise memorial runestones, fifty of these note that the deceased was a thegn. Examples of such runestones include Sö 170 at Nälberga, Vg 59 at Norra Härene, Vg 150 at Velanda, DR 143 at Gunderup, DR 209 at Glavendrup, DR 277 at Rydsgård. Abthain Fyrd Thain Thane Abels, Richard P. Lordship and Military Obligation in Anglo-Saxon England, British Museum Publications ISBN 0-7141-0552-X David Roffe, "The King's thegns on the eve of the Norman Conquest" Mats G. Larsson, "Rinkar, karlar svenner" in Populär Historia April 2002 Canute, King of the English: Heriots and reliefs, c. 1016 - 1035: the equivalent of "death d
Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is defined by NATO as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action". They include surface based and air-based weapon systems, associated sensor systems and control arrangements and passive measures, it may be used to protect naval and air forces in any location. However, for most countries the main effort has tended to be'homeland defence'. NATO refers to airborne naval air defence as anti-aircraft warfare. Missile defence is an extension of air defence as are initiatives to adapt air defence to the task of intercepting any projectile in flight. In some countries, such as Britain and Germany during the Second World War, the Soviet Union, NATO, the United States, ground-based air defence and air defence aircraft have been under integrated command and control. However, while overall air defence may be for homeland defence including military facilities, forces in the field, wherever they are, invariably deploy their own air defence capability if there is an air threat.
A surface-based air defence capability can be deployed offensively to deny the use of airspace to an opponent. Until the 1950s, guns firing ballistic munitions ranging from 7.62 mm to 152.4 mm were the standard weapons. The term air defence was first used by Britain when Air Defence of Great Britain was created as a Royal Air Force command in 1925. However, arrangements in the UK were called'anti-aircraft', abbreviated as AA, a term that remained in general use into the 1950s. After the First World War it was sometimes prefixed by'Light' or'Heavy' to classify a type of gun or unit. Nicknames for anti-aircraft guns include AA, AAA or triple-A, an abbreviation of anti-aircraft artillery. NATO defines anti-aircraft warfare as "measures taken to defend a maritime force against attacks by airborne weapons launched from aircraft, ships and land-based sites". In some armies the term All-Arms Air Defence is used for air defence by nonspecialist troops. Other terms from the late 20th century include GBAD with related terms SHORAD and MANPADS.
Anti-aircraft missiles are variously called surface-to-air missile and pronounced "SAM" and Surface to Air Guided Weapon. Non-English terms for air defence include the German FlaK, whence English flak, the Russian term Protivovozdushnaya oborona, a literal translation of "anti-air defence", abbreviated as PVO. In Russian the AA systems are called zenitnye systems. In French, air defence is called DCA; the maximum distance at which a gun or missile can engage an aircraft is an important figure. However, many different definitions are used but unless the same definition is used, performance of different guns or missiles cannot be compared. For AA guns only the ascending part of the trajectory can be usefully used. One term is "ceiling", the maximum ceiling being the height a projectile would reach if fired vertically, not useful in itself as few AA guns are able to fire vertically, maximum fuse duration may be too short, but useful as a standard to compare different weapons; the British adopted "effective ceiling", meaning the altitude at which a gun could deliver a series of shells against a moving target.
By the late 1930s the British definition was "that height at which a directly approaching target at 400 mph can be engaged for 20 seconds before the gun reaches 70 degrees elevation". However, effective ceiling for heavy AA guns was affected by nonballistic factors: The maximum running time of the fuse, this set the maximum usable time of flight; the capability of fire control instruments to determine target height at long range. The precision of the cyclic rate of fire, the fuse length had to be calculated and set for where the target would be at the time of flight after firing, to do this meant knowing when the round would fire; the essence of air defence is to destroy them. The critical issue is to hit a target moving in three-dimensional space; this means that projectiles either have to be guided to hit the target, or aimed at the predicted position of the target at the time the projectile reaches it, taking into account speed and direction of both the target and the projectile. Throughout the 20th century, air defence was one of the fastest-evolving areas of military technology, responding to the evolution of aircraft and exploiting various enabling technologies radar, guided missiles and computing (initially electromechanical analogue computing from the 1930s on, as with equipment describ
Warwickshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick; the county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The county is divided into five districts of North Warwickshire and Bedworth, Rugby and Stratford-on-Avon; the current county boundaries were set in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972. The historic county boundaries include Solihull, as well as much of Birmingham; the county is bordered by Leicestershire to the northeast, Staffordshire to the northwest and the West Midlands to the west, Northamptonshire to the east and southeast, Gloucestershire to the southwest and Oxfordshire to the south. The northern tip of the county is only 3 miles from the Derbyshire border. An average-sized English county covering an area of 2,000 km2, it runs some 60 miles north to south. Equivalently it extends as far north as Shrewsbury in Shropshire and as far south as Banbury in north Oxfordshire; the majority of Warwickshire's population live in the centre of the county.
The market towns of northern and eastern Warwickshire were industrialised in the 19th century, include Atherstone, Bedworth and Rugby. Of these, Atherstone has retained most of its original character. Major industries included coal mining, textiles and cement production, but heavy industry is in decline, being replaced by distribution centres, light to medium industry and services. Of the northern and eastern towns, only Nuneaton and Rugby are well known outside of Warwickshire; the prosperous towns of central and western Warwickshire including Royal Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Alcester and Wellesbourne harbour light to medium industries and tourism as major employment sectors. The north of the county, bordering Staffordshire and Leicestershire, is mildly undulating countryside and the northernmost village, No Man's Heath, is only 34 miles south of the Peak District National Park's southernmost point; the south of the county is rural and sparsely populated, includes a small area of the Cotswolds, at the border with northeast Gloucestershire.
The plain between the outlying Cotswolds and the Edgehill escarpment is known as the Vale of Red Horse. The only town in the south of Warwickshire is Shipston-on-Stour; the highest point in the county, at 261 m, is Ebrington Hill, again on the border with Gloucestershire, grid reference SP187426 at the county's southwest extremity. There are no cities in Warwickshire since both Coventry and Birmingham were incorporated into the West Midlands county in 1974 and are now metropolitan authorities in themselves; the largest towns in Warwickshire in 2011 were: Nuneaton, Leamington Spa, Warwick and Kenilworth. Much of western Warwickshire, including that area now forming part of Coventry and Birmingham, was covered by the ancient Forest of Arden, thus the names of a number of places in the central-western part of Warwickshire end with the phrase "-in-Arden", such as Henley-in-Arden, Hampton-in-Arden and Tanworth-in-Arden. The remaining area, not part of the forest, was called the Felden – from fielden.
Areas part of Warwickshire include Coventry, Sutton Coldfield and some of Birmingham including Aston and Edgbaston. These became part of the metropolitan county of West Midlands following local government re-organisation in 1974. In 1986 the West Midlands County Council was abolished and Birmingham and Solihull became effective unitary authorities, however the West Midlands county name has not been altogether abolished, still exists for ceremonial purposes, so the town and two cities remain outside Warwickshire; some organisations, such as Warwickshire County Cricket Club, based in Edgbaston, in Birmingham, still observe the historic county boundaries. The flag of the historic county was registered in October 2016, it is a design of a bear and ragged staff on a red field, long associated with the county. Coventry is in the centre of the Warwickshire area, still has strong ties with the county. Coventry and Warwickshire are sometimes treated as a single area and share a single Chamber of Commerce and BBC Local Radio Station.
Coventry has been a part of Warwickshire for only some of its history. In 1451 Coventry was separated from Warwickshire and made a county corporate in its own right, called the County of the City of Coventry. In 1842 the county of Coventry was abolished and Coventry was remerged with Warwickshire. In recent times, there have been calls to formally re-introduce Coventry into Warwickshire, although nothing has yet come of this; the county's population would increase by a third-of-a-million overnight should this occur, Coventry being the UK's 11th largest city. The town of Tamworth was divided between Warwickshire and Staffordshire, but since 1888 has been in Staffordshire. In 1931, Warwickshire gained the town of Shipston-on-Stour from Worcestershire and several villages, including Long Marston and Welford-on-Avon, from Gloucestershire. Warwickshire contains a large expanse of green belt area, surrounding the West Midlands and Coventry conurbations, was first drawn up from the 1950s. All the county's districts contain some portion of the belt.
The following towns and villages in Warwickshire have populations of over 5,000. Warwickshire came into being as a divisio
Dickens Heath is a village and civil parish within the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull in the English county of West Midlands. It was part of the civil parish of Hockley Heath, is near Cheswick Green and Hollywood. Only three miles from Solihull town centre, Dickens Heath new village, when complete, will consist of 1672 dwellings and be home to a population of about 4,000 people; the actual population as taken at the 2011 census was 3,992. The name Dickens Heath is believed to be associated with Thomas Dykens, who lived in the district in 1524. Dickens Heath was one of the several areas of open common land in Solihull parish, it was described as being of 10 acres in the 1632 Manorial Survey of Solihull. At the time of the 1841 census, Dickens Heath was a hamlet and most of the people who lived there were agricultural labourers. You can seen census records free of charge on the Ancestry website from library computers. Maps show that little changed over the next 150 years, until the new village began taking shape in 1997.
All of the development that has changed Dickens Heath from an agricultural hamlet into a modern new village has happened in little more than a decade. The continuing development, upon completion will provide a development with three key locations, namely Market Square and Garden Squares. Dickens Heath Village Centre features residential accommodation, alongside shops and leisure facilities, incorporating community amenities and on-site management services. Although building on the final stage of Dickens Heath is still yet to happen with the current housing slump and slow sales of current stock being blamed, the village has become a vibrant centre with a high population of youngsters making the village a fun place to live. Dickens Heath has attracted both praise in equal measure. With some traditional borough residents not liking the density of building in some elements of the development. In other areas, there has been a positive response to aspects of the development, such as the broad range of housing styles and accommodation, as well as the new local primary school, one of the only schools in the entire Solihull borough to be rated as'outstanding' by the recent OFSTED inspection.
The village is served by the Landflight A4 and A5 bus service which runs half-hourly to Shirley and Solihull. In the opposite direction, every other services extends to Whitlocks End station where the buses are timed to coincide with trains departing to and arriving from Birmingham; the origins of the new village date back to November 1989 and Solihull Council's need to accommodate 8,100 new homes between 1988 and 2001. The Solihull Unitary Development Plan proposed a settlement of 850 new houses adjacent to the existing hamlets of Dickens Heath Road and Tythebarn Lane. In May 1991, there was a public enquiry into objections and, following a favourable response by the Government Inspector, Solihull Council approved the principle of the Dickens Heath project in December 1992. From the outset, the Council decided that Dickens Heath would be special and wouldn't be just a large housing estate in the country; the Council decided that the new development would be based on the model of a traditional village, made up of shops, offices and homes as well as a school, village hall, doctors' surgery, village green and country park.
London architects John Simpson and Partners devised a concept plan, developed and refined to become the approved Master Plan in 1995. The four key elements of the Master Plan were that the new settlement should: have a clear identity which gives residents a sense of place and belonging echo the traditional features of village development including homes, recreation and welfare facilities intermixed to create a cohesive whole provide a range of housing, from first-time buyer housing through to family housing and smaller units suitable for the elderly, thereby creating a mixed community of all ages and incomes create a safe and pleasing environment for pedestrians while still accommodating the motor car, but without allowing it to dominate the environmentIn March 1995, there was a second public enquiry into the Solihull Unitary Development Plan. Outline Planning Permission was approved by the Council in December 1996. Construction began in August 1997 with the first show home opening in December 1997.
The first house was occupied in May 1998. The school opened in September 2002 and the library opened in October 2004; the Consortium of Developers was obliged to provide the village infrastructure at a total cost of around £10 million. The agreement required a financial contribution and/or provision of land for: the village school the community hall and library the village green the parkland the nature reserve the walkways the wharf the highways the medical centre a church The Stratford-upon-Avon canal, which links Solihull with Warwickshire, flows around the edge of the village and is popular with canal boaters. Herons and ducks can be seen here, as well as bats and badgers. Nearby woodlands, which are remnants of the ancient Forest of Arden provide a home for bluebells, wood anemones and wood sorrel. Key milestones in the development of Dickens Heath New Village are: 1989: The original concept for a new village was created in response to the search for housing land to accommodate 8,100 new homes in the borough between 1988 and 2001.
1991: The principle of a new village at Dickens Heath was examined at the Public Local Inquiry into the Council’s development plan 1992: The Government Inspector who conducted the Inquiry endorsed the principle of the new village and the site was subsequently released for housing by the Council with an estimated capacity of at least 850 dwellings 1994: The C