Sandwell planners honoured with award for excellence

Five people staying on a stage having received an awardSandwell Council’s planners have been honoured for shaping the regeneration of Smethwick in the prestigious Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) West Midlands Awards for Planning Excellence 2022.

The Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate outstanding plans, projects and people that demonstrate the power of planning. These awards highlight exceptional examples of how planning and planners have a positive impact on our quality of life in creating exceptional places and protecting our environment.

Officers from the council’s regeneration and growth team, along with partners from Birmingham City Council and Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, jointly received the Excellence in Plan Making Practice Award for their work on the Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor Framework document and the Grove Lane Masterplan.

The planning documents were produced by an innovative partnership between Sandwell Council, Birmingham City Council, Homes England, West Midlands Combined Authority, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and the Canal & River Trust.

The partners came together to produce a shared vision for the major regeneration corridor between Birmingham and Smethwick.

The Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor Framework sets a transport strategy and guiding development principles for the cross-border corridor. It promotes a co-ordinated approach to regeneration and development within the area encompassing Birmingham mainline canal, Port Loop, Soho Loop, City Hospital and Grove Lane, as well as the Dudley Road and Smethwick High Street centres.

The plan contains guiding principles to assist in future design and the use of opportunity sites, as well as a supporting transport strategy.

Alongside the framework is the Grove Lane Masterplan for the area situated next to the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital. The masterplan outlines opportunities for new, much-needed housing growth.

Both documents will assist in bringing forward major transformational change in the years ahead.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth Councillor Peter Hughes said: “I want to commend our planners and our partners for their success in achieving the RTPI West Midlands Excellence in Plan Making Practice Award.

“They have been recognised for their hard work, skills and commitment to deliver our vision for new housing, improved public realm and green spaces, enhanced transport links and access to facilities, and increased employment opportunities for the people of Sandwell and the West Midlands.”

The winners will now move forward to the national RTPI awards later this year. Congratulations Sandwell planners!

For more information about the Smethwick to Birmingham Corridor Framework and the Grove Lane Masterplan visit

To find out more about the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence visit the website.