IWA Lobbies to Save Lapal Canal Restoration

Issue date: 16th April 2013

IWA has joined local residents to campaign against private developers' plans which would affect the restoration of the eastern end of the Dudley No 2 Canal (known locally as the Lapal Canal).  When plans were first agreed by Birmingham City Council for the proposed new Sainsbury store at Selly Oak, a corridor of land along the route of the old Dudley No2 Canal was incorporated along with restoration of the canal, which would be funded by the developers. The canal would eventually connect with Hawne End, via the Lapal Tunnel and on to Dudley and Stourbridge.  The development partnership has, however, now submitted revised plans which withdraws its previous commitment to restore the waterway.

IWA is opposing the latest moves by developers 'Harvest' and supermarket giant Sainsbury.  The scheme that has been submitted to the Planning Authority, Birmingham City Council, does not include the reinstatement, or provision for adequate suitable space, for the canal. This, as well as being contrary to City planning policy, would permanently block the route of the former canal that Lapal Canal Trust has been working to restore. Furthermore, the proposals do little to enhance the present unattractive rundown waterway corridor that currently runs through the site.
Waterways supporters are therefore encouraged to object to the proposals, which can be found on the Birmingham Planning website (click on Planning Application Number Search and keying in reference  2013/02178/PA), pointing out that the application is flawed because it does not meet many of the criteria identified in the Selly Oak Local Action Plan adopted in July 2001 as requirements for the regeneration of the Selly Oak area of Birmingham.
There is a full briefing on the details on the IWA website
The closing date for objections is the 2nd May 2013 and they should be addressed to Birmingham City Council, Planning and Regeneration, PO Box 28, Birmingham , B1 1TU.

Click photos to view larger versions:

A stretch of the Lapal Canal in Selly Oak Park indicating how attractive the restored canal will be for residents and visitors.

Photo by Ivor Caplan.
Volunteers working on the Lapal Canal in Selly Oak Park. The threatened section of the canal through the ‘Harvest’ development is just beyond the new bridge in the distance.

Photo by Ivor Caplan.