Society History

History of the Residents’ Society

In 1971 the Calthorpe Residents’ Society was formed by a group of local residents worried about proposed development on the Calthorpe Estate, an elegant ‘Garden Suburb’ occupying much of Edgbaston and part of Harborne, a short distance from Birmingham City Centre. The aim was to form a group who could engage with the Calthorpe Estate management to make representations on behalf of and protect the interests of those who lived within the boundaries of the Estate, to mutual benefit. The Society is independent, apolitical, secular and voluntary and is open to all who live on and work in the Calthorpe Estate, as well as those who just admire its heritage and beauty.

Mainly due to the efforts of the Society the older part of the Estate was, in 1976, designated a Conservation Area, one of the largest such urban areas in England. The Society has in the past given invaluable guidance to residents on the Leasehold Reform Act (1967)and subsequent legislation assisting many to purchase their own freeholds. For further details please see Founder Member David Henson’s interesting article on the First 40 years of the Society.

The Society continues to monitor the Calthorpe Estate ‘Scheme of Management’ , the aim of which is to preserve the character of the Estate with its famously numerous, beautiful trees, open spaces and historic buildings. This is operated by Lambert Smith Hampton for the Calthorpe Estate and the many residents who are subject to the Scheme should be aware of their legal obligations under it.

The Calthorpe Residents’ Society continually reviews planning applications and development on the Estate, offering help and guidance to individuals and groups as required. Talks and events of local interest take place each year. Increasingly the Society is linking with other local groups, promoting local charities and events to the benefit of as many residents as possible. Whilst the Society has had much past success in preserving historic buildings, continued vigilance is required to ensure that the wonderful streetscapes are not eroded by loss of trees, front gardens and inappropriate gates and railings. Traffic speed and anti social parking have become significant issues in recent years. The Society is becoming more proactive in improving amenities and influencing development.

Membership of the Residents Society is open to all residential owners and occupiers and to business’ and organisations on the Calthorpe Estate and those who know and admire the area, subject to a small annual fee.

The approximate current boundaries of the Estate may be seen on this Google Map overlay.