Continuing the legacy of the Main Line Canal as an engine for change
A development framework for one of the largest growth corridors in the country, running from the edge of central Birmingham to the town of Smethwick centred on the Main Line Canal. Multiple public sector stakeholders have come together to define the future growth within the corridor, including Birmingham City Council, Sandwell Council, West Midland Combined Authority, NHS and Homes England
Whilst the edge of Birmingham City Centre is seeing new and innovative development emerge, neighbouring Smethwick suffers from a negative perception. With a vision shaped around the health and wellbeing of the local communities, the framework bridges the gapbetween these two distinctive, diverse, and multi-cultural areas, creating a positive catalyst for change.
We are working with the Councils, and their partners, to provide a coherent framework for the corridor which will provide direction for growth and a consistent approach to ensure that a new district emerges where people want to live. Within the framework, a more detailed masterplan for the land around the Midland Metropolitan Hospital will provide guidance for developers in respect of the aspirations for, and nature of, the development sought.
The wealth of industrial heritage, particularly within Smethwick provides a unique opportunity and a character which new development must respond to. We analysed the corridor, identifying potential sites for redevelopment, opportunities to reduce barriers to movement and any other public realm or placemaking opportunities. The relocation of City Hospital from Dudley Road to the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital on Grove Lane provides an incentive for significant changes which can help to sustain local centres, deliver improved open spaces and open up the canal for active travel and recreation.
The corridor framework and masterplan have both been informed by extensive engagement with major stakeholders and community groups. Consultation on the final documents will allow them to be adopted as planning guidance upon which development and investment decisions can be made with confidence.