Developers, alongside Birmingham University, have submitted development plans for the site of the former Northfield Manor House to Birmingham City Council for approval. The proposed plans for a new housing development include a newly built apartment building with the external appearance of the old Manor, which was destroyed in an arson attack in 2014.


Original stained glass window in the former Manor Photo Michael Scott |

Northfield Manor was built in 1820 and was the home of George and Elizabeth Cadbury between 1894 and 1922, when George passed away. Elizabeth Cadbury remained there until her death in 1951. During the summer months, the family accommodated disadvantaged children from around the city there, to give them a taste of the countryside and during World War II, the grounds were used as a training centre for the Friends’ Ambulance Unit.

It was gifted to the University of Birmingham in 1952 and converted to be used as halls of residence for the University of Birmingham between 1958 and 2007.

The Grade A locally listed building then stood empty for several years and it was deemed by English Heritage that it did not fulfil the criteria for becoming a fully listed building.

Banner Homes submitted a planning application to Birmingham City Council, seeking to renovate the existing Manor House and convert it into apartments.


Video by onenarrowdoor on YouTube

Sadly, however, the building was destroyed by fire in July 2014, following an arson attack. 

The University had engineers try to save parts of the building but, following the fire, it was mostly demolished.

The plans

Plans have now been submitted by Crest Nicholson Homes to demolish the remains of the building but, with the University of Birmingham keen to keep a link to the site’s heritage, the proposals include a new apartment building to reflect the original house. 

The external appearance of the reinstatement will be that of the Manor House as it was. 

Inside there will be 26 modern apartments.

northfieldmanorcgi2Surrounding the Manor, it is proposed new build apartment buildings with 56 dwellings and 53 two, three, four and five bedroom houses will be built. Developers say that design of the homes will be influenced by the “arts and crafts” style of the original manor.

As part of the planning application, The University of Birmingham states: “The University remains of the opinion that a rebuilding of the Manor can be done in a sensitive way that is in keeping with the heritage of the site, helps to retain its connection with the Cadbury family and meets its commitment to the local community.”

A Crest Nicholson spokesperson said: “We’re working closely with Birmingham University regarding the redevelopment of Northfield Manor, further details of which we will be revealing in the coming months.”

To view the full planning application and submit your views visit Birmingham City Council’s Planning Online site. Planning application number: 2016/02112/PA

CGI images from developers via planning application 

Manor House fire 30th July 2014
Manor House fire 30th July 2014


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