Following a war of words between supporters and opponents of the proposed redevelopment plans for Edgbaston Cricket Ground the city council gave it's approval on the 14th May and government Communities Secretary John Denham has decided on the 8th June not to order a public inquiry.
The decision not to order a public inquiry should pave the way for building work to start before the end of the 2009 cricket season with the new stadium ready to stage Test matches in 2012.
The plans for the ground's redevelopment have proved controversial with articles in the cricketing and local and national media commenting on the importance of the project with Warwickshire County Cricket Club (WCCC) officials together with reports from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) noting that without floodlighting and redevelopment the ground could not be considered for international matches
Despite the vocal support from the sporting bodies and others keen to retain the ground's international draw for visitors to Birmingham over 1,000 residents wrote letters and signed petitions objecting to the new stands and permanet floodlighting. Their concerns included the adjoining housing and hotel development and the ground's 25,000 capacity and it's impact on traffic and noise levels, http://www.birminghampost.net/news/newsaggregator//tm_headline=edgbaston-cricket-expansion-scheme-avoids-government-inquiry%26method=full%26objectid=23815967%26siteid=65233-name_page.html.
The approved plans are an Outline Application and matters such as layout, scale, appearance and access will come back to the Planning Committee but look safe to give Edgbaston a secure future for Test Cricket.
Earlier articles on the redevelopment proposals: