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Sandwell Mall Zoo , Wednesbury , West Midlands

Discussion in 'Zoo History' started by zoowhosewho, 25 Jan 2022.

  1. zoowhosewho

    zoowhosewho Well-Known Member

    22 Mar 2019
    Sandwell Mall Zoo , Wednesbury , West Midlands ..... This establishment was on the cards for nearly 6 years with planning permission granted but as detailed below it never came to fruition .
    On the 3rd June 1986 100 Acres of derelict land was declared to be built upon by the early 1990's there was to be a Shopping Mall , Amusements , A Dolphinarium and a Small Zoo ... It was to be based upon West Edmonton Mall in Canada which is still in existence today
    By 5th September 1986 the Dolphinarium plans were dropped due to Government investigations the keeping of popular Marine Animals in captivity
    BY 18th September 1986 Outline permission had been approved for the Sandwell Mall by Sandwell Council and they announced that development could begin by 1987
    On the 4th November 1986 Accountants working on behalf of Sandwell Council urged the council to not proceed as the scheme would not pay for itself
    By November 11th 1986 Sandwell Council gave the Developers 3 months to prove that the project could pay its way otherwise they would refuse to sell the land
    In January 1987 Dudley Council asked Sandwell Council to delay the final decision on the Development as it would be detrimental to their town
    By February 1987 Walsall , Birmingham and Wolverhampton Councils voiced their dissent and concerns about the proposal.
    However , In March 1987 Full planning Permission was given subject to Legal and Financial details being completed .Discussions were had with regard to Light Railway Transport and roads to build up the infrastructure around the Proposed area
    On the 31st March 1987 Sandwell Council Leader visited Brussels to request Common Market money to fund the roads
    29th April 1987 plans to build the Shops and Leisure Centre were officially approved
    But then on the 21st May 1987 it turned out that British Coal had a statutory right to mine the land over a 3 year period
    In July 1987 there was a request by local councillors as to what was happening and in August 1987 the Council announced that works on the Sandwell Mall would commence within 6 months ... The full detailed plans were submitted in October 1987
    In January 1988 a bombshell hit the proposals as British Coal made their application to mine the site although Sandwell council were considering whether to commence the 1st Phase of the Sandwell Mall .... However , by 19th January 1988 plans were scrapped for the 1st phase as the developers never showed up for a meeting to discuss it
    April 1988 an announcement was made that by July 1988 500,000.00 tons of coal would be extracted from the site over a 3 year period and that Sandwell Council would retain the land after the 3 years .... Mining began in June 1988 and plans for the new roads for the area were announced in August 1988 .... However , also in August 1988 mining ground to a temporary halt as underground concrete cellars were discovered .
    By November 1988 new developers for the site to build the Mall and Leisure facilities and in December 1988 it was revealed that the project was now to be named Sandwell 2000 and full plans would be revealed in January 1989
    In June 1989 Birmingham Corporation were looking to legally challenge the development along with other nearby Councils and Corporations
    July 1989 British Coal requested a further 5 month extension to their plans to excavate coal
    By February 1990 Dudley Zoo stated that this new development (especially as a new Zoo was being proposed) could see it close or have to scale down to a Botanical gardens
    By July 1991 the new developers were reported to be in financial difficulties
    Finally in February 1992 the whole scheme was scrapped
    So a 6 year quite farsical and presumably very expensive plan for Sandwell Mall which would have included a new Zoo was finally scrapped which although it may have "lost" a lot of potential jobs it saved a lot of Jobs in the surrounding areas and most importantly to Zoologists Dudley Zoo was spared too
    Image is of the the Patent Shaft Steel Works which would have been the site for this proposal[​IMG]
    Benosaurus likes this.