Developer St Modwen anticipate that the permission for the 150,000 sq ft store, along with a further 45,000 sq ft of retail space and multi-storey car park, will create 500 new jobs, as part of the construction process and following its completion.
Construction work is expected to start on site in the autumn, with planned completion scheduled to enable trading by Christmas 2015.
Bill Oliver, Chief Executive, St. Modwen said: “The development of the new 150,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer store, the anchor of the second phase of the new Town Centre at Longbridge, represents a significant milestone at this major regeneration project and is a key part of our overall aim to create business and employment opportunities in the area.”
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council commented: “It is extremely encouraging for Longbridge to see this substantial level of investment from a major national retailer. This significant commitment by Marks & Spencer is a reflection of the ever increasing confidence being generated by Longbridge and in South West Birmingham and recognition of the impressive impact St. Modwen has made in the regeneration of this important brownfield site.”
Longbridge Ward Chair, Cllr Andy Cartwright said: ” Great news. As ward chair, I will be promoting the local heritage and new vision to Marks & Spencer and stressing the need for local jobs for local people.”
However, not everyone is convinced further retail on the site is the best move. Planning committee members Barry Henley (Lab, Brandwood) and John Clance (Con, Quinton) spoke out against the proposals and Weoley Cllr Peter Douglas Osborn (Con) felt that Longbridge is the wrong place for M&S and that more jobs would be created if the land was developed for manufacturing.
Permission was granted by 9 votes to 3.