Selly redevelopment scheme to go ahead

Selly Oak canal plans are revived thanks to a tasty £767k pledge.


A controversial £100 million scheme restoring the canal nearly sunk, but Birmingham City Council have finally given the go ahead for the development of a new life sciences campus.

The project, to redevelop the former Birmingham Battery site, was thought to be dead in the water after Harvest Partnership said plans to restore a 350-metre stretch of the Lapal Canal were no longer financially viable.

However, after a two month battle, Harvest have magically discovered new funding just before the plan was due to return before the committee on the 17th October .

Coming to a Selly near you soon

The extra £767,000 donated by Harvest has brought the grand total of their contribution to the project to £4.4 million.

The development includes an 80,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s, the new life sciences campus and a business park for medical and pharmaceutical research. (Hang on, hasn’t Selly already got a massive Sainsbury’s?)

The development will also include a retail park with shops, cafes and restaurants and also student housing. A new bridge over the canal will also be built linking the new development to the heart of Selly Oak.

The life sciences scheme will link in with medical research at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and University of Birmingham.

Project Director Neil Carron commented, “We’re delighted the planning application has been approved and our vision for Selly Oak can finally be realised. We’re confident our proposals will provide significant economic benefits and will revitalise Selly Oak.”

It is anticipated to take 18 months, meaning construction could start at the beginning of 2016 and open in 2017. An estimated 2,700 jobs could be created – 2,000 of them in the life sciences campus.

Hopefully the canal won’t just be somewhere else for people to chunder.

We can really imagine the Drinks2Go man with his own barge.