Weekly News Friday 06 Apr 2012

kewbirmingham.co.uk Weekly News

A round-up of local news from the past week

Submitted by Geoff Caine

***IMPORTANT For full experience of this article –  click on all photos to see a larger HD view and click on all coloured and underlined words to link to more information – apologies to all who already know this***


  • Big City Plan Update – the Eastside Masterplan

Council publishes more of their visions for the future of Birmingham
Big City Plan Logo
The Council has issued another document describing its plans for the future of the Eastside of Birmingham City Centre. This is one of the Five Areas of Transformation in the of the Big City Plan, which is a developing initiative.
The latest document is 40 pages long – Cllr Tim Huxtable has been working hard! It’s a very good document, though, with lots of meat put on the bones of earlier proposals. There’s lots of artists impressions and photos of current scenes – well worth a read!
This is a vision, and there will be consultations as the details develop. You can give your opinions and ideas:
Contact – Development Directorate, Birmingham City Council
E-mail: bigcityplan@birmingham.gov.uk
Call: 0121 303 4507
Download the document.

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  • Revised Regeneration Plans for Selly Oak

Developers update their plans issued last September

Sainsburys LogoRevised plans have been issued by the Land Securities Group in partnership with Sainsbury’s, for a mixed-use development on a site in Selly Oak which has been derelict for decades.

The revised development is along the lines of the original on which local opinion has been noted and a number of changes have been made.
Among the features in the plans are a Sainsbury’s supermarket, other smaller shops and eating places, a doctor’s surgery, two hotels and student accommodation.
Of particular inerest to canal enthusiasts is an extended and widened waterfront for the Worcester and Birmingham canal with restaurants, bars and cafes.

Selly Oak Lapal Canal through the site

Lapal Canal through the site - Photo by kind permission of Land Securities Group in partnership with Sainsbury’s

There is also a rerouted section of the Lapal Canal passing through the centre of the site (see image left) to the boundary of Selly Oak park where the  Lapal Canal Trust is working towards restoring the Harborne Wharf.

This is great news for Selly Oak which has long needed regeneration from when I went to Birmingham University there in the early sixties. It will also be a great attraction for boaters to stop off at when navigating the busy Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

You can read more about the plans, which have now been submitted to Birmingham City Council for planning permission. You can view the planning application which is numbered 2012/01565/PA.

This is a 3.25 mile walk along the canal, (about 1 hour by narrow boat).

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  • MG BTCC Success

First outing of racing car brings success!


Jason Plato at the wheel of his MG BTCC car - Photo by kind permission of MG Motor UK

MG won the first round of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Brands Hatch on 1 April, in a modified version of the MG6 GT which I had a test drive in on Tuesday last. Two times BTCC Champion and co-presenter of the Channel 5 TV series Fifth Gear, Jason Plato, won the aggregate of three races. This is the first race of the season and the debut of the MG – a staggeringly impressive start!
His team mate, upcoming star Andy Neate, was placed 15th – it’s a very aggressive race and, daring, bullying, and race experience are the essentials for successful drivers (so I reckon!).
This is a great win for Birmingham’s resurrected motor manufacturing industry.
The cars are prepared by Triple Eight Race Engineering who have had major successes in this event in the past decade.

Here is a slideshow I constructed from photos from, and with kind permission of, MG Motor UK.

I think we should support the above and the Longbridge site so as to promote Birmingham’s ever increasing source of technical brilliance. This will replace our heritage of metal bashing and associated production industries.

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  • Snippets of News

Icknield Port Loop regeneration gets kick start

The proposed creation of a new waterside quarter centred in and around the derelict Icknield Port loop of the BCN canal is to receive a grant from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP). It will be one of 8 projects to receive an initial share of the £12m from the Growing Places Fund.
This regeneration scheme is championed by the Ladywood Councillors who I know will be thrilled at the news.

Read more about the site and what it would include.
Outline Planning Application 2011/07399/PA was made in November 2011.

Library of Birmingham April Site Snapshot Released Published

The Site Snapshot April 2012Carrilion has sent me this new snapshot of progress and internal photos.

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  • Easter Events

Some recommendations

As usual for the Easter weekend there are very few advertised events to be found in spite of my extensive research.

Countless place have an Easter Egg Hunt to amuse children, of course

But, the Birmingham Museum and Art Galery (BMAG) does a sterling job to keep us amused with its events including egg hunts.

Here are three happennings that, I admit, are of personal interest:

Guided Tour 2.30pm: ‘Bella Vista’ with Karen Howell – no times published Saturday 7th April – central museum – Join Karen Howell on this tour of beautiful landscapes in the BMAG collection – £2

Classical Guitar Concert 1:10 to 1:50pm Friday 6 April – Round Room , central Museum – free – worth a drop-in when visiting this splendid museum of ours.

Music for Monarchs 12 to 4pm Sunday 8 April – Blakesley Hall – Adults £4 Concessions £3 Under 16 free
This is a great historic building to visit and linger and relax a while (even without the music) – just 7 miles and 14 minutes away by car.

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Submitted by Geoff Caine

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