Issue date: 17th July 2013
Property developer Harvest’s latest proposal for the proposed development at the junction of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and the Lapal Canal at Selly Oak went before Birmingham City Council Planning Committee on 27th June. An issue report took place where planning officers asked the elected members of the committee for their views on a selection of matters. During the meeting Harvest sought to downgrade the status of the need to reinstate the Lapal Canal from 'necessary' to 'desirable'.
In an attempt to have the local community’s voice heard, Community Partnership for Selly Oak (CP4SO) had delivered its objection and community plan to some elected members of the committee before the meeting. Many of these members were not in favour of the development plans and showed support for the CP4SO objections.
When plans from developers Harvest were first agreed by Birmingham City Council for the proposed new Sainsbury's store at Selly Oak, a corridor of land along the route of the old Dudley No2 Canal (also known as the Lapal 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. These plans have since changed with the developers withdrawing their commitment to reinstate the Lapal Canal and seeking for this to be labelled a desirable outcome rather than necessary.
IWA is supporting the campaign against this development as it does not include provisions for a viable reconstruction of the eastern end of the Lapal Canal. On 11th May 2013 Lapal Canal Trust held a boat rally on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to highlight the many problems with the plans that had then recently been submitted by Harvest to the Council. The event was attended by members of the boating community illustrating the support the objection has.