Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor Framework shortlisted for prestigious awards

Congratulations to all the teams involved in the Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor Framework. This collaborative project spanning Birmingham and Sandwell has been shortlisted in the Planning Awards 2022 and West Midlands’ Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence.

What is the Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor Framework?

Front cover of the Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor Framework DocumentThe Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor is the ‘corridor’ of the BCN (Birmingham Canal Navigation) Main Line Canal and Dudley Road/Soho Way between Ladywood and Smethwick Galton Bridge Station, spanning Birmingham and Sandwell.

Developing an area of this size obviously requires input and consultation from many different organisations.

Before the Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor Framework, development proposals came forward on an ad-hoc basis, which made everything fragmented. The corridor region was unable to fully benefit from the many opportunities that naturally exist over such an expansive area.

Now the Framework has brought together partners from multiple public-sector organisations and across administrative boundaries.

They are:
Sandwell Council
Birmingham City Council
West Midlands Combined Authority

in conjunction with:
Homes England
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
Canal & River Trust

supported by:
Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design – Aspinall Verdi and Urban Movement.

Together they have outlined an agreed vision and guiding principles for developing the area, including a transport strategy. Their collective goal is to deliver an improved environment for communities across the corridor, with substantial housing growth and improved accessibility and connections to and within it.

You can read the Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor Framework document on Sandwell Council’s website.

About the awards

The Planning Awards recognise excellence in planning and associated placemaking disciplines including heritage conservation, urban design, economic development, partnership working, environmental consultancy, housing and law.

The Planning Awards state that the Framework has been shortlisted thanks to its “agreed and aspirational vision supported by a robust policy framework to ensure development will take place in a considered manner delivering housing and regeneration objectives”.

The awards will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 9 June 2022 at The Mermaid in London.

Meanwhile, the Framework has also been shortlisted in the West Midlands’ RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2022, commending too the Grove Lane Masterplan – which provides more detailed proposals for the major regeneration site around the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital in Smethwick.

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate “outstanding plans, projects and people that demonstrate the power of planning”. Winners will be announced at a Summer Ball and Awards Ceremony at Millennium Point in Birmingham on Thursday 30 June, and go on to become national RTPI finalists.

‘We are stronger when we work together’

Councillor Peter Hughes, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth, congratulated every organisation involved in the Framework, and thanked them for their considerate collaboration.

He said: “Bringing together these various organisations and authorities to agree on a housing and regeneration vision involves a lot of work – but ultimately we are stronger when we work together. Our collective goal for the Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor is to improve the environment, boost housing and improve connectivity to and within it, for the benefit of people who live there. The Framework really has set out an inspiring vision to achieve those things and I’m so pleased it has been recognised among the finalists of two very prestigious awards.”