Selly Oak constituents raise questions over Battery Site Development

Steve McCabe MP, Birmingham Selly Oak, has written to Birmingham City Council Planning Department with the conclusions of his survey regarding the Sainsbury’s and Harvest development at the Selly Oak Battery Site.

Steve’s survey revealed that over 80% of constituents who responded were in favour of the Life Sciences Park and that overall (69%) people were in favour of the proposals.

However, concerns were raised over 4 points:


-           Local residents and the university do not want to see undergraduate accommodation on the site and Steve does not believe this will complement proposals for a cafe/wine bar as part of the development.

-           There are serious reservations about the visual approach to the site from the Bristol road which as the proposal stands will be the Sainsbury’s Goods Yard. This will not give the impression of a high quality development and a gateway to Selly Oak.

-           Pedestrians and disabled people must not be forced underground or into subways when accessing this site. This is a retrograde step for Birmingham and is unacceptable. There needs to be more effort to emphasise the opportunities for cycling on and through the site and access for cyclists. This would be consistent with the council’s own policies.

-           It must be made abundantly clear that while Harvest cannot be expected to fund the completion of the Lapal Canal proposals, they must leave the canal options so that it is clear that they can readily be developed without additional costs if the funding can be achieved elsewhere.

The Planning Committee is due to consider the outline planning application submitted by Sainsbury’s and Harvest Partnerships on Thursday 5 September.


Steve McCabe MP said:


“There are obviously still issues with the plans and I do not think we should have development at any cost. I am pleased that Harvest representatives have acknowledged my constituents concerns about further undergraduate student accommodation and I have been assured that they will look at plans to have apartments and superior accommodation for visiting academics and post grads.


“I do not accept the argument that because the current Sainsbury’s store has delivery access on Bristol Road this means it is ok for the new store’s service yard to be at this location. This is an opportunity to improve Selly Oak as a whole and it would be a missed chance if this aspect was not changed.


“I must make it clear that I welcome the Harvest and Sainsbury’s Development which now includes a Life Sciences Park and I very much want to see this derelict site be brought back into use. I want a development that local residents want and that helps bring jobs and economic activity to the area.”

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