An engaged community attend the Community Liaison Group

21 November 2023

The recent Community Liaison Group (CLG) meeting at Wheaton Aston Village Hall was well attended by around 30 members of the local community and the project team.

WMI-led presentations provided an update on the site activity since the last meeting and having officially broken ground in October 2023. On the construction front, WMI are nearing completion on the earthworks for the 50 series plots with drainage and pond construction on-going. Tree fencing and other protection works have been completed and bird and bat boxes installed as part of the ecological mitigation programme. Demolition activity continues on Vicarage Road and Straight Mile and drainage installation will commence shortly, while hard landscaping to Calf Heath Community Park is programmed in the new year.

The CLG attendees were informed of planning submissions for Phase 1 green infrastructure, which will include community parks provision, the main road infrastructure and other local road realignments. The CLG also heard that construction on the temporary A5 access and A449 laybys will start in early 2024 with carriageways remaining open under traffic management.

We discussed WMI’s social value programme, which has been busy offering on-site enrichment programmes to Walsall College students and promoting construction careers at Cannock Chase High School, Stafford University and the University of Wolverhampton. WMI is also supporting a local female engineer back into work after a career break. On the community fund front, the application criteria are being drafted in conjunction with SSDC, who will launch and manage the application process going forward.

Interest and engagement shown by the community was high with plenty of questions raised across all elements of the project delivery.