COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Upgrade plans for sites set for approval
Plans to upgrade two key Commonwealth Game locations are set for approval next week ahead of the event due to take place next year.
Birmingham City Council’s planning committee is due to consider applications for temporary lighting at Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr – the main venue for the games – at its meeting next week.
At the same meeting, it will consider alterations to a car park at Boldmere Gate, Sutton Park – where triathlon events are due to be held. Both applications are recommended for approval by council officers.
In the case of the Alexander Stadium changes, a reserved matters application has been submitted by the Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee for steel lighting and speaker system structures.
The four temporary lighting columns would range in height between 50 and 59 metres including the light fittings and would support around 40 light fittings.
Four other temporary structures measuring 38m in height would support the speaker system required, and be located with the lighting columns in the four corners of the stadium.
The structures would be installed in June this year but be used for the event between July 28 and August 8, 2022 and test events only, between 7pm and 12 midnight.
They would be removed between September and December 2022 and replaced with “legacy lighting” as has previously been approved.
Three responses were received following a public consultation which asked for “reassurances on light pollution” and raised concerns about “further disruption, noise, pollution and traffic chaos”.
A report from a planning officer states “the least number of luminaires to reach the required lighting levels will be used” and “this is a temporary use for a large-scale one-off event which would bring significant benefit to the immediate and wider community”.
A previous planning application to provide a new western stadium, increase seating capacity to 18,000 and provide new warm-up track among other changes was approved last year.
At Boldmere Gate, planning permission is sought for alterations and refurbishment of an existing 200-space car park at the site which is currently laid out with loosely bound gravel and grass and soil at an overspill car park.
The proposals seek to replace the current car park surface with a combination of porous tarmac and EcoGrid reinforced grass-filled surfacing while including a total of 221 car parking spaces.
The space would be used as a “transition area” for athletes at the event, according to a report to councillors.
The improvements would also seek the provision of electrical hook up points which would be retained after the 2022 event.
A petition signed by 475 people was submitted in support of the application, and a further 67 letters of support were received following a public consultation.
At the same time, 12 letters of objection were received raising concerns including an adverse impact” on ecology and the park, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Objections also included that there is both too much and not enough car parking proposed.
A recommendation to approve from a planning officer states: “The proposals would result in a tree becoming unviable as a result of the works required to facilitate the development.
“This has been accepted by tree officers subject to securing appropriate mitigation in the form of tree planting to the equivalent CAVAT [Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees]value.”
The planning committee meeting can be viewed on the city council’s website at civico.net/birmingham from 11am on May 27.
Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Democracy Reporter
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