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City’s largest brownfield site to provide 3,000 waterside homes

City’s largest brownfield site to provide 3,000 waterside homes

🕔25.Feb 2016

A masterplan setting out design principles for the largest brownfield housing development in Birmingham has been approved.

The Greater Icknield plan provides guidance on how 150 acres bordering the west side of the city centre between City Hospital and Edgbaston Reservoir can be developed.

It is the largest brownfield housing-led redevelopment proposal in Birmingham, with the potential to provide around 3,000 new homes and 1,000 job opportunities, according to the city council.

Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, transport and the economy, said:

Birmingham city centre has changed dramatically over the last 15 years, and major development opportunities have continued to spread outwards from this area.

Greater Icknield presents a huge opportunity to create a high-quality development with easy access to the city centre. This masterplan seeks to create a family-orientated area that complements existing communities but has a distinct identity.

New development in the area will have high standards of sustainability, with benefits extended to existing properties, such as the extension of district heating schemes, sustainable waste management and digital infrastructure.

The masterplan also emphasises the need to have good access to employment and strong connections to surrounding areas.

The Greater Icknield area includes a small part of the city centre and extends towards the boundary with Sandwell, encompassing the A457 DudleyRoad/Spring Hill corridor and part of Dudley Road local centre.

It includes the 32 hectare Edgbaston Reservoir and a significant network of canals which offer the potential for waterside developments, both residential and recreational.

The council has been attempting to redevelop the area as a network of waterside communities based on Icknield Port Loop for more than 10 years and development opportunities have often been showcased at the MIPIM real estate fair in Cannes.

Birmingham’s housing shortage and Government pressure to build on brownfield land has pushed the Greater Icknield plan to the top of the agenda, boosted by council leader’s John Clancy’s commitment to prioritise housing development.

It was announced last October that a joint venture between Urban Splash and Places for People had been chosen as the preferred partner for the development of Icknield Port Loop.

Then two companies will take a 50 per cent share in a limited liability partnership with the landowners, to bring forward a mixed-use scheme at the 43-acre site.

This will include 1,150 new homes plus commercial uses and community facilities. The joint venture will also provide development management services.

Barry Allen, head of Savills Birmingham, said:

This is a major milestone for Icknield Port Loop, which is one of the biggest regeneration schemes in the UK.

Whilst the development has been some time in the making, its launch was perfectly timed to meet renewed appetite for urban housing sites of a scale which can enable real change. The proposals received demonstrated ambition, design flair, place-making and financial appetite.

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