Apr 02nd 2012
The area covered by the Order
The Smethwick Area Action Plan, developed by Sandwell MBC, earmarks the Grove Lane area for regeneration, including the planned new hospital and associated facilities. The remainder of the Grove Lane area is allocated for high quality business uses, residential development and other complementary uses. It also contains guidance relating to vehicular access, the incorporation of open space, making the Cape Arm canal a focal point and flood risk.
The Order lands, which extend to approximately 6.76ha, are bordered by the A457 (Grove Lane) to the west, by London Street to the north west and by Grove Street to the south east. Most of the Order lands comprise industrial and storage premises together with associated parking areas and service yards. A significant proportion of the land is vacant and parts of it are in a derelict condition. However, some of the land is occupied by businesses engaged in activities including vehicle repairs and storage. There is a large modern industrial until centrally located within the site which is vacant.
The Cape Arm canal, a branch of the Birmingham Canal, adjoins the north east boundary of the site of the proposed hospital. A short section of this canal lies within the Smethwick Summit, Galton Valley Conservation Area. The Order covers various structures which span the canal, a private access road leading to the canal and the southern end of the canal itself.
The local planning authority is Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC). In November 2008 SMBC granted outline planning permission for an acute hospital and supporting education, research and administration centre together with gym, crèche and car parking within the Order lands. The permission also covers access to the site.
The new hospital plans also include commitments to improve road access to the site and to enhance the canal environment.
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