Register a Critical Comment or Objection to the Planning Application

The deadline for comments is Thursday 2nd May!

You can see the planning application here, but be warned that the supporting documents are very difficult and time-consuming to investigate.

You can easily register your comment online here or write to:
Planning and Regeneration
PO Box 28
B1 1TU

If you wish to register an objection or critical comment, then to help, I have put together some ideas below. Please use this if you want but any slight personalisation will carry more weight with the Planning Committee.

Note that the BCC Planning Committee can not reject plans for esoteric reasons like dislike of features unless they conflict substantially with the existing environment.

Possible Statement:

I wish to criticise/object to this latest outline planning application on the following grounds:

  1. It obstructs/makes difficult any future possibility of restoring the Dudley No1 (alias Lapal) canal junction with the Worcester & Birmingham canal and an arm of the Dudley No2 to link to Selly Park (Note 1).
  2. It takes little account of the wishes of the local community to restore the canal (Note 2).
  3. It is non compliant with certain statements in the “City planning policy in the Selly Oak Local Action Plan (LAP) adopted in July 200”  (Note 3).
  4. The 16 storey Student Accommodation adjacent to the Worcester and Birmingham canal appears to be out of scale with the surrounding buildings and could create over massing to the severe detriment of the view from the canal and the proposed canal square (Note 4).
  5. It reduces substantially the leisure area in the complex namely along the canal extension proposed in the original planning application.

Note 1:

The only available route of a future canal arm is the greenway leading to the bridge, on Harborne Lane, recently purpose-built for the canal arm.

The Supermarket service yard adjacent to the north-east  side of the superstore inhibits this route as does the proximity of the north/south road serving the car park and supermarket delivery point.

If a drop in level would be required for the canal to go under the Harborne Lane bridge and hence a lock being required, there may well be insufficient room for this.

Once building goes ahead according to these outline plans a new canal arm could well be impossible.

Note 2:

Community Partnership for Selly Oak

The [Dec 2012 Harvester] consultation document has no canal but provides a route for one to the north of the site, not very close to the original line of the canal. Crucially any canal and walkway would have to pass under Sainsbury’s and its service yard and while provision for this is made in the plan it does not in our view constitute a viable walking route from Selly Oak Park / Gibbins Rd to Bournbrook. It is by no means certain that the connection with the W&B canal outlined would be navigable.”

Reference link

Their proposed alternative plan can be seen at

Lapal Canal Trust

“April 4th :
Sainsbury’s with Land Securities have submitted to BCC, a Plan which excludes a properly watered Lapal Canal, having replaced it with a green walkway around the edge of their site. The Trust and CP4SO [Community Partnership for Selly Oak] is urging all supporters to help us cont[e]st this, please.”

Reference link>

Note 3:

The City planning policy in the Selly Oak Local Action Plan (LAP) adopted in July 2001 states:

Any new development in this area should also assist with the future reinstatement of the former Dudley No 2 (Lapal) Canal.  New development should also be designed so that it is well related to the existing Worcester & Birmingham Canal and the reinstated Dudley No 2 Canal

British Waterways and the City Council are now committed to working together to ensure the continued renaissance of the canal network as an integral part of the City’s economic, social and environmental well-being.”  The LAP also states that Selly Oak is noted to be a stage 1 priority area for this

Referring to the former PPG (Planning Policy Guidance)13 it includes the statement: “that development proposals should not adversely affect inland waterways”

(With reference to the Lapal Canal) ”Meanwhile, development should restore the section between the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and Selly Oak Park, and the option of restoring the remainder of the canal kept open and Birmingham Canal and Selly Oak Park, and the option of restoring the remainder of the canal kept open.

Note 4:

The 16 floor Student Accommodation building rises to 195m. This could be overmassing as adjacent buildings are mostly a maximum of 156m except for the supermarket which is a maximum of 158m.

This Student Accomodation is between 42m and 52m above the Canalside Square. It is less than 20m to the square and 5m to the canal towpath which is less than 3m wide. This being to the west of the square and canal could cast severe shadows on this community leisure area for half of the day and lead to a severe overmassing and overbearing effect.

Reference: Outline Planning Application supporting document “Supporting Statement Proposed Street Elevations1925-A-L-20“.

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