It will be close to my house, is there a structural danger?
The canal has been there a long time, we are just excavating it. Structural engineering advice will be taken where needed, as with any modern project.
Will it attract anti-social behaviour?
More local people walking the canals means they are more public and safe. Canals offer lots of opportunities for social and youth inclusion: http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/media/documents/publications/Waterways_For_People.pdf
Will it affect my house price?
A March 2019 London School of Economics discussion paper found that nationwide, houses with a canal view see a 3.4% uplift in house price on average. http://spatial-economics.blogspot.com/2019/04/valuing-environmental-benefits-of.html Full report here: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1604.pdf Other surveys have cited uplifts for canal-side locations of 18% nationwide, with the top uplifts being 35% in Birmingham, 23% in Chester and 19% in Leeds https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/buy/revealed-the-most-sought-after-waterside-views-in-the-country/
Will it attract rats?
No. Food and garbage attracts rats, not water. See here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=791
So, the solution is not littering and not feeding bread to ducks and geese – it’s actually not healthy for them: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6279929/Dont-feed-ducks-bread-pollutes-waterways-attracts-rats.html
Isn’t there Japanese knotweed there?
Yes there is. We are sure nearby homeowners will be glad to hear it will have to be cleaned up as part of the project!
What kind of disruption will it cause to my area?
Timescales are difficult to give in the early days of this project, but keep an eye on our website. When works are happening, the works themselves are not a long process – it is the funding that takes the most time. As for noise, it is difficult to quantify, but there wouldn’t be much heavy work due to the fact it is mostly an excavation exercise. We wouldn’t be building a new canal: the canal walls appear to be intact.
Who will maintain the canal when it’s done?
The completed canal will be handed over to the Canal Rivers’ Trust who then look after it.
Is there a risk of flooding to my house/neighbourhood?
A Canal & Rivers Trust representative with a lot of experience in this area has said that the restoration of the canal should help prevent flooding, if anything, as it acts as a reservoir so there would be less run-off for houses located below the canal level.
Canal water levels are fully monitored and controlled, unlike rivers, by a team of hydrologists: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/specialist-teams/managing-our-water/flood
Canals are capable of receiving local excess surface water and storm waters: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/22749-surface-water-drainage-leaflet-august-2015.pdf
Will there be traffic disruption during the works?
It is not possible to say exactly, but there will be some disruption at the top and bottom of the Bradley Arm at some point during the works. This will be covered in a future consultation document.
What about the contaminated land in the area?
We are well aware of historic media reports about this and this needs to be properly looked at. Steve Simkins, Councillor for Bradley, stated at one of a 2016 public meetings about the canal restoration, that the Council had looked at the site and found no serious contamination. In any event due to its importance this will be covered as part of a future consultation document. If the land needs another survey it gets another survey, including of the materials used to infill the canal.
Aren’t canal boats smoky, noisy things?
As a whole canal boats are not smoke-belching machines, and offer a gentle chug-a-chug sound. Canal boat traffic will increase but it will hardly be rush-hour.
Could we have a boating festival?
Great idea, talk to the Birmingham Canal Navigation Society!
Will local wildlife be impacted?
Canals are known to enhance the bio-diversity of an area, and existing wildlife don’t tend to be affected.