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Detailed designs for Selly Oak scheme are approved by Council

The detailed designs for a major mixed-use development set to transform Selly Oak’s former Battery site have been approved by Birmingham City Council as Reserved Matters.

The Harvest Partnership, a joint venture between Land Securities and Sainsbury’s, originally received outline planning approval in autumn 2013 to regenerate the derelict industrial site into a new retail destination, anchored by a Sainsbury’s store.

Since then, The Harvest Partnership has further developed and consulted on the outstanding design details relating to the retail and student accommodation elements of the scheme, as well as the pedestrian and cycle routes. The Reserved Matters application, which had been recommended for approval, focussed on scale, layout, appearance, landscaping and access.

Whilst the retail element of the scheme has not altered significantly, the canal-side student accommodation’s footprint has been slightly reduced and its design has evolved into a series of three interlinked buildings, now separated from the adjacent Sainsbury’s store and set to become a gateway landmark for Selly Oak.

Design features include brick cladding, a spacious double height entrance area facing the canal and good disabled access, including 10 disabled parking spaces and spacious wheelchair-accessible studio flats.

Designed as a distinctive building in its own right, the new 70,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s store and restaurant will be located at first floor level, with ground floor ‘undercroft’ parking below. Sainsbury’s west facing façade will feature extensive glazing with timber panels, and the main entrance will be via a bright atrium hall with travelator, lifts and stairs.

The position of the entrance to Sainsbury’s service yard off Bristol Road is now slightly set back. The walls, which will be taller to provide roofing to contain sounds, will have a ‘wavy’ footprint and include patterned timber louvres up which planting will be encouraged to grow to provide a more natural look.

The terrace of shops will be fronted by a colonnaded arcade and built with good quality materials, such as ceramic tiles and timber cladding, whilst the areas outside the cafes and restaurants will accommodate terraces with outdoor seating. There will be two groups of 20 cycle bays at either end of the parade, as well as ample parking for over 860 cars.
The pedestrian access has altered slightly to allow cyclists to cross the site more easily, including along the greenway, a route reserved for the potential future (Lapal) canal link to Selly Oak Park.

The detailed design of the footbridge across the existing Worcester and Birmingham Canal and the former Goodman’s area are subject to future planning permissions
Chris Fleetwood, Development Director for Land Securities, said: “We’re delighted to have received planning approval for the detailed design of key elements of the scheme. The key themes of the development remain mostly unchanged, but the design of certain aspects has rightly evolved, taking into account feedback from consultees.

“With the remediation of the Battery site well underway, we are now looking forward to making a start on construction in 2016.”

The Life Sciences Campus development, which is being led by Birmingham City Council and is also subject to a separate planning application, will occupy the north of the site close to the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.

Contractor Careys lends a hand in the community

Careys-Lapal-assistanceSainsbury’s remediation contractor Careys has been helping out in the community after agreeing to remove spoil near to the local scout hut off Gibbins Road for the Lapal Canal Trust.

Birmingham City Council recently granted approval for the Lapal Canal Trust to carry out work to restore the former Harborne Wharf in Selly Oak Park. The eventual completion of the canal link from the park to the existing Worcester and Birmingham canal will allow the Harborne Wharf canal basin to be filled with water. The basin will be 120 meters long and 20 meters wide at its widest point and will also be used as a temporary mooring and turning point for canal boats. The 113th Ariel Scout Group, whose headquarters are located in Selly Oak Park next to the former canal, will help to build the slipway for safe access for canoes.

Careys team members used the canal tunnel under the road bridge to move 2000 cubic meters of rubble and soil, which had accumulated in the basin since the mid 1950’s when the canal was closed. Careys used an 8 ton excavator, which was small enough to traverse the tunnel, and two dumper trucks to complete the favour for the trust.

Trust Chairman Peter Best commented: “The Lapal Canal Trust is hugely grateful to Careys Directors and the Carey Foundation for agreeing to support the Trust as part of its initiative to support local communities, and in particular thanks to the team in Selly Oak, managers John and Clive, excavator driver Colin, and the truck drivers Sam, Robert and Paul, also the Careys support staff in Selly Oak.”

University of Birmingham students visit site

Sainsbury’s, along with contractor P.J Carey, has welcomed students from University of Birmingham to the Selly Oak development site to get some practical experience.

32 students, studying for their Master’s degree in Environmental Health and Occupational Health & Safety visited the site of the former Birmingham Battery Company to see first-hand the remediation works taking place ahead of construction next year.

Students got to experience a major site remediation project and the measures project teams use to ensure safety for their workforce and any neighbours.

The Selly Oak site provided a unique opportunity for the students to learn about the safe treatment of different waste materials. Due to the various uses of the site, including the Birmingham Battery Company and a period of landfill, a variety of industrial and commercial waste is being remediated, having built up over a number of decades.

Following a presentation in the site office, Carey’s project manager Clive Medden led the students on a tour that included the laboratory, soil hospital and areas of land that are being prepared for construction works.

Alex Shearer, Sainsbury’s Project Manager, said: “The Selly Oak site has presented a unique opportunity for students to learn more about environmental health and occupational safety in the construction industry, which will serve them well as they continue their studies. It was great to be able to do this for them and we wish them well as they continue with their degrees.”

Mr Alexander Poynter, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, comments: “Our students were very grateful for the opportunity to visit the Selly Oak remediation site as it has given them a first-hand insight into the remediation of the former contaminated land.  It was excellent to see that there could be a further collaborative opportunity through student project work.  Many thanks to the project team for being so open and accommodating to our visit.” 

Delving into the history of Selly Oak site through our soil remediation

remediation-worksWe’ve been delving into the history of the site as part of an initiative to promote the science behind the remediation works.

Contractors P.J Carey, part of The Carey Group Ltd., are carrying out the clean-up operations and tackling a variety of waste materials as they go, including hot ash and coal tar, as well as commercial and industrial waste left over from the former uses of the site. These include the Birmingham Battery Company and a period when the site was used as landfill.

In planning the sampling, analysis and treatment of each ‘waste stream’, which includes the use of an on-site laboratory and ‘soil hospital’ and targets to make safe and re-use over 90% of materials, the team has gained a greater understanding of the site’s history. It has now brought the information together for local residents and students.

A brief history of the site and the science behind the remediation works are now on display on hoardings near the roundabout at the top of Aston Webb Boulevard.

The hoarding graphics can be seen alongside artwork created by local primary school children, which is already on display around the site. The remediation team is now also planning to extend the initiative by arranging site visits with local university and college students who are studying environmental sciences and construction management courses.

The visits will take place later this summer and provide students with some practical experience of remediation and waste treatment.

Alex Shearer, Sainsbury’s Project Manager, said: “Having learnt about the site as a result of our research, we thought we would share details about its history on the hoardings and the website. We also want to show people our approach to treating the waste materials and re-using them on site. We now look forward to local students visiting the site in the coming weeks to gain some practical experience.”

Selly Oak ward members join local community representatives at remediation site visit

Selly-Oak-site-visit
Two Selly Oak ward members joined representatives from local groups to brave the cold and witness the progress of remediation works at the former Battery Park site off Bristol Road.

Councillors Karen McCarthy and Brigid Jones joined members of the Lapal Canal Trust, Community Partnership for Selly Oak and representatives from a number of local residents associations and neighbourhood watches for a site tour and presentation.

Edgbaston ward member Councillor James Hutchings was also in attendance along with Simon Epstein of Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The presentation and tour was given by Sainsbury’s Project Manager Coryn Martin and senior colleagues from main site contractor, P.J Carey, part of The Carey Group Ltd.

The tour included a visit to the on-site laboratory where soil samples are analysed as part of the remediation works. Then there was a visit to the first element of construction at the site, a large retaining wall that splits the future developments; a new Sainsbury’s store with additional quality shops, student housing and places to eat and drink; and a new state-of-the-art Life Sciences Campus being delivered by Birmingham City Council.

Construction is due to begin early in 2016.

Coryn Martin comments: “I would like to thank all the visitors for braving the cold to come and see us at site. It was a great opportunity to show how well we are progressing and answer any questions about the works. We look forward to completing this phase and handing the site over for construction, delivering a range of benefits for the people of Selly Oak and the city of Birmingham.”

Selly Oak Ward Councillor, Karen McCarthy, comments: “It was fascinating to see the science behind the remediation process. The site is beginning to take shape, so we were able to get a better idea of what the Life Sciences development and the retail area will look like. We look forward to working together to ensure there are jobs for local people at both.”

The site visit comes on the back of local artwork being installed on the site hoardings after pupils at Water Mill Primary School and St Mary’s Church of England Primary School drew pictures inspired by healthy eating and lifestyles. The artwork can be seen along Aston Webb Boulevard.

Artwork by local school children goes on display along former Selly Oak Battery Park site

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Artwork created by local school children has gone on display on the hoardings around the former Battery Park site in Selly Oak as remediation works continue.

Pupils at Water Mill Primary School and St Mary’s Church of England Primary School have been busy drawing pictures to inspire healthy eating and the artwork has been turned into colourful hoardings along Aston Webb Boulevard.

The schools were challenged by the Harvest Partnership, the developers behind the works, to promote healthy and active lifestyles, and posters were created by pupils in a number of classes at the two schools.

Photographs of the artwork being created at the schools can be seen here

There are also plans for alternative artwork on others areas of the site hoardings throughout 2015.

Coryn Martin, a Project Manager during the remediation works, comments: “Healthy eating and an active lifestyle is something promoted by Sainsbury’s, the Harvest Partnership and Birmingham City Council, so we are delighted that the children have created such wonderful drawings. We hope people really enjoy them as they walk along Aston Web Boulevard, and take on board the messages they are promoting.”

Birmingham City Council Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr John Cotton, said: “It’s vital that our young people understand the importance of healthy eating and leading active lives. This project has encouraged pupils at the two schools to think about these two important areas and hopefully their impressive work will encourage other people in the area to adopt healthy lifestyles.”

Remediation works at the former Battery Park site are progressing well and on course to complete early in 2016 before construction works begin for a new Sainsbury’s store, additional quality shops, student housing and places to eat and drink.

The development will also include a Life Sciences Campus, facilitated by Birmingham City Council, which will lead the way in bio-medical research and development, complementing the recent investment and work at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the University of Birmingham.

For further information about the ground remediation works or the hoarding artwork, you can call the community affairs team on freephone 0800 975 5299

‘Mock Rescue’ training exercise takes place at former Battery Park site

Members of the West Midlands Fire Service Technical Rescue Unit (TRU) and West Midlands Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) visited the former Battery Park site in December to carry out a mock rescue training exercise for a collapsed excavation.

The exercise was arranged by main contractors, P.J Carey, part of The Carey Group Ltd., in partnership with Amey, the subcontractors undertaking deep drainage works at the site.

The team engaged with the emergency services to arrange a mock rescue at the site from a trench box, providing an opportunity to carry out crucial and valuable training in a ‘real-life’ scenario.

The mock rescue included a paramedic playing the ‘casualty’ in order to experience the situation from the injured party’s point of view, further informing the experience and potentially highlighting ways in which rescue operations could be improved.

The training exercise was carried out using all the specialist emergency processes and safety equipment and was deemed a huge success, both in terms of training and experience for the region’s fire and ambulance services, and for our contractors to continue to ensure safety is paramount whilst the remediation works take place.

Fantastic progress being made at Battery Park site

Works to remediate and ‘clean up’ the former Battery Park site in Selly Oak ahead of a major regeneration project are on course and progressing well.

Project contractor, P.J Carey, part of The Carey Group Ltd., is utilising a variety of methods and machines at the site to ensure the remediation works and major service diversions continue to advance swiftly and to programme.

Battery ParkOne piece of plant, a state-of-the-art ‘finger screen’ is busy separating site materials into three piles, including clean soil for re-use, stone and rock for crushing, and remaining materials that will be treated and disposed of.

This machine ’shakes’ the excavated waste, splitting the materials apart onto separate conveyor-belt ‘arms’, which pile them up neatly for the next stage of the process.

Contractors are busy at various parts of the site as remediation advances and levels start to take shape.

Once works are completed in early 2016, the site will be ready for the construction of a mixed-use retail-led development and a centre of excellence for life sciences research.

The Harvest Partnership, a joint venture between Land Securities and Sainsbury’s, will deliver the retail element, which will be anchored by a new Sainsbury’s store and will also include quality shops, student housing and places to eat and drink.

The development of the Life Sciences Campus, facilitated by Birmingham City Council, will lead the way in bio-medical research and development, complementing the recent investment and work at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the University of Birmingham.

Coryn Martin, a Project Manager during the remediation works, comments: “Having only been on site for a number of months now, the contractors are making fantastic progress and we’re well on course to complete this phase of the development early in 2016. We can’t wait to bring forward the regeneration and deliver all the benefits for residents, students and visitors to Selly Oak.”

Sir Albert Bore witnesses progress at Selly Oak redevelopment site

26th September 2014

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, was taken on an exclusive tour around the former Battery Park site in Selly Oak on Friday 26th September.

The special guest was shown around the development site by Dean Clegg, Sainsbury’s Director of Property, and project contractor P.J Carey, part of The Carey Group Ltd. Sir Albert Bore was also provided with a unique insight into some of the methods being used to remediate the site for its future development.Sir Alberty Bore Selly Oak

Once works are completed in early 2016, the site will be ready for the construction of a mixed-use retail-led development and a centre of excellence for life sciences research.

The Harvest Partnership, a joint venture between Land Securities and Sainsbury’s, will deliver the retail element, which will be anchored by a new Sainsbury’s store and will also include quality shops, student housing and places to eat and drink.

The development of the Life Sciences Campus, facilitated by Birmingham City Council, will lead the way in bio-medical research and development, complementing the recent investment and work at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the University of Birmingham.

Dean Clegg, Sainsbury’s Director of Property, said: “Excellent progress is being made on the remediation of the site, which will pave the way for the transformation of the area into an exciting new mixed-use development.
“We look forward to seeing the site redeveloped, which will bring significant benefits to Selly Oak, including creating many much needed jobs and providing a better shopping offer in the area.”

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It’s great to see this derelict site being regenerated and brought back into use, at long last.
“This multi-million pound investment will make a massive difference to this part of Birmingham. It will transform Selly Oak into a new visitor destination with a cutting edge centre for life sciences research that will create a substantial number of jobs.”

Sainsbury’s confirms start of remediation works on the former Battery Park Site, Selly Oak

26th June 2014

Sainsbury’s will start work on the first phase of redevelopment of the former Battery Park site in Selly Oak on Monday June 30th.

The retailer has appointed P.J Carey (Contractors) Ltd, part of The Carey Group, as the site contractor. It will carry out land remediation works and service diversions, completing in early 2016.

Plans to transform the site into a mixed use retail-led destination and a centre of excellence for life sciences research were approved by Birmingham City Council in November 2013. This followed extensive consultation with local residents and stakeholders.

The Harvest Partnership, a joint venture between Land Securities and Sainsbury’s, will deliver the retail element. The scheme will be anchored by a new Sainsbury’s store and will also include quality shops, places to eat and drink, and student housing. Construction works for this stage of the scheme are scheduled to start in early 2016 and be completed by autumn 2017.

The development of the Life Sciences Campus, facilitated by Birmingham City Council, will lead the way in bio-medical research and development, complementing the recent investment and work at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the University of Birmingham.
Michael Adenmosun, Portfolio Development Manager for Sainsbury’s, commented: “We are delighted to announce a contractor for the Selly Oak development and a date for starting works at the site.

“This has been a long-time coming but we have reached a key milestone and can finally begin remediation works.

“The site will be completely regenerated to restore Selly Oak’s status as a leading district centre, offering quality retail choice and leading the way in medical research.

“We would like to thank the local community for its input and support to date and look forward to working together as we move forward with the programme.”

Norman White on behalf of the Harvest Partnership, said: “We are very pleased that our vision is being delivered and look forward to revitalising this area.

“We’re confident that the development will provide significant economic benefits and are pleased that the first stage of works will soon be underway.”

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore, said: “The Life Sciences Campus will not only create a leading-edge hub in this important growth sector, it will continue the place making and regeneration of Selly Oak and Edgbaston.

“Early interest in the site is promising to outstrip the available space, and we are already considering additional sites in south Birmingham – a fantastic boost for the local and regional economy.”