Press release from St Modwen:
St. Modwen and its partner Advantage West Midlands have today received unanimous planning approval from Birmingham City Council for the new £70 million Longbridge town centre, which will create over 1,000 jobs.
The new Longbridge town centre will be delivered in three phases, with an 85,000 sq ft (50,000 sq ft net sales area) Sainsbury’s store, car park, two acre urban park and elements of the new high street delivered in the first phase. Phases two and three will comprise an 80-bed hotel, 40 apartments, further retail space and car parking, with a total of 80,000 sq ft of retail space and restaurants being delivered in addition to the Sainsbury’s store.
The new two acre Austin Park will lead to the opening up of the river Rea for the first time in 100 years. The Longbridge town centre development will also create new access roads and continued local road improvements for the £1 billion flagship regeneration scheme.
Bill Oliver, chief executive of St. Modwen, said: “We are delighted to have received planning permission for the new town centre at Longbridge. With Sainsbury’s already signed up to take the foodstore and many discussions taking place with other potential retailers and occupiers, we will now look to commence construction of the first phase before the end of the year.”
Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transportation and Regeneration said: “Once complete, Longbridge town centre will establish a new heart for the local community and a focal point for the overall £1 billion regeneration of the former MG Rover works. The development will provide an important economic boost to the area and create a diverse range of employment opportunities, potentially creating over 1,000 jobs.”
Michael Adenmosun, Regional Development Executive for Sainsbury’s Supermarket Ltd commented: “The regeneration of Longbridge and the landmark town centre scheme will transform the area and breathe a new lease of life into Longbridge. Sainsbury’s is proud to be part of this vision and make a difference to this community.”
The £66 million Bournville College, which is situated within the Longbridge town centre site, is nearing the end of its construction programme and will welcome its first students in September 2011. Elsewhere at Longbridge, the first two office buildings to be completed at the Technology Park are virtually fully let. Construction work is underway at Park View, the first new residential scheme at Longbridge, which will deliver 115 houses and apartments. A planning application is currently being prepared for up to 750 homes and a a new park at Longbridge East, while planning permission was recently granted for a new ‘myplace’ youth centre for 13-19 year olds, which will be developed with Birmingham City Council.
Prior to submission of the detailed planning application for the town centre, there was widespread community support for the development plans, with over 600 people attending the public consultation event. St. Modwen has continuously welcomed the input of local people, recognising the need for the regeneration to engender a sense of pride in the area. Creating a choice of retail, leisure and residential space that adequately meets the needs of Longbridge is helping to highlight the area as a thriving innovative community with a positive future.
The 468 acre Longbridge site is being transformed by St. Modwen and Advantage West Midlands as part of the £1 billion regeneration of the former MG Rover works, delivering a sustainable community with the creation of 10,000 new jobs and up to 2,000 new homes.
Following the abolition of regional development agencies, like Advantage West Midlands, it is still unclear exactly who will take control of land assets at the Longbridge site and an Early Day Motion was raised in Parliament yesterday where MPs expressed their concerns about the uncertainty. Northfield MP Richard Burden has signed the motion.