Solihull villagers fear disruption and damage to conservation area amid M42 upgrade plans - The Solihull Observer

Solihull villagers fear disruption and damage to conservation area amid M42 upgrade plans

Solihull Editorial 14th Jun, 2019 Updated: 14th Jun, 2019   0

AN 11th Century church and houses in a leafy Solihull village’s conservation area could be damaged by M42 upgrade works, residents claim.

The £282million congestion-busting M42 junction 6 works near Birmingham Airport and the A45 are scheduled to start next year.

They include the construction of new carriageways, roundabouts and roads to improve traffic flow around the M42.

But residents are shocked and angered by the proposed works compound between the A45 and the north end of the village of Bickenhill.

In a letter to the Planning Inspectorate, the Bickenhill and Marston Green Parish Council has called for mitigating measures to be introduced due to the threat to green belt and the village’s distinctive historic features.

It says residents want the boundary pushed back as far away from the village as possible and to be consulted at each stage of the project.

Residents are also concerned about noise pollution, dust, traffic and construction vehicles blighting the village – and the threat of road closures.

The letter states: “This is a nationally important infrastructure project and Bickenhill village will be suffering to enable this.

“We are profoundly unhappy about the location of the main compound and would like it moved away from the village to a more suitable location.

“The north of Church Lane (the main road through the village) will be boxed in for four years, with resultant noise, visual, light and air pollution for up to 24 hours a day.

“Many residents’ houses, businesses and our church, build in 11th Century, with much of this area in a conservation area and green belt will be metres from the compound.

“Now that the village is aware there is very real disquiet, and even anger as many feel deliberately left out of the process by Highways England specifically to enable the compound to be placed in the easiest place for the applicant.”

The letter also demands a compound operation plan which adheres to the planning application’s noise assessment, traffic management throughout the village and a guarantee the north end of St Peters Lane will not be shut off during construction.

Other parts of the huge project include the creation of a new 2.4km dual carriageway link road – aligned to the west of Bickenhill – between the A45 clock Interchange.

There are also plans to improve the M42 junction 6 roundabout by providing dedicated left turn links between the M42 and A45 at the NEC and the north east side of the roundabout.

An update heard at yesterday’s cabinet meeting revealed five of six alterations to the plans Solihull Council has proposed to Highways England – ultimately responsible for the project – have been accepted.

Highways England project manager Chris Harris said: “The planning process is ongoing and we are continuing to work with interested parties.

“We are still in discussions with businesses, landowners and those impacted by the scheme to try to agree a solution that suits all parties.”


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.


Advertise with the Solihull Observer to reach your audience


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.