28 June 2020

IWA has raised a formal complaint with The Planning Inspectorate following the publication of the Examining Authority’s Report on the West Midlands Rail Freight Interchange.

The scheme, which was approved by Grant Shapps (Secretary of State for Transport) on 4th May, will destroy the rural environment of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal between Gailey and Four Ashes and damage its setting between Four Ashes and Calf Heath. It will also damage the setting of the Roundhouse at Gailey which along with the cottage, lock and wharf is a unique heritage asset that should be nationally treasured.

The report includes assessment of the impacts of the project on the heritage assets of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. IWA’s concern is that, if left unchallenged, the Report’s false reasoning would set unfortunate precedents for future heritage assessments of inland waterways. IWA is concerned that the sections of the report dealing with the canal’s heritage fall well short of the professional standards expected, and the complaint included a detailed analysis prepared jointly by IWA’s Planning Advisory Panel and Heritage Advisory Panel.

IWA made detailed representations at the earliest stage of the Examination, attended Hearings and maintained a watching brief throughout.