Plans go in for £70m Longbridge town centre

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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St. Modwen Properties has submitted a detailed planning application to develop a new town centre at the site of the former Rover plant in Birmingham.

The urban regeneration specialist also today said it had acquired two plots of land comprising 68 acres in the West Midlands and Derbyshire.

Bill Oliver, chief executive of St. Modwen, said:  “The submission of a planning application for the new town centre at Longbridge is a major milestone in the evolution of this project.

“It underlines our expertise in taking on large scale regeneration projects and provides a clear indication that 2011 will be one of the most active years yet for this important scheme.”

The application for Longbridge sets out details to build an 85,000 sq ft foodstore, 80,000 sq ft of additional retail space and several restaurants.

The scheme has generated much interest with national retailers. Negotiations are well advanced for the sale of the foodstore and pre-lettings of the retail space and hotel.

Subject to planning approval, construction is on track to start this summer.

The town centre plans also include an hotel and 40 apartments, together with the newly-created two acre Austin Park which, if approved, will lead to the opening up of the river Rea for the first time in 100 years.

Once complete, the town centre will establish a new heart for the community and a focal point for the overall £1bn regeneration of the former MG Rover works.

Over the next 15 years, the scheme is expected to create up to 10,000 new jobs and 2,000 new homes.

To date, 5m sq ft of redundant buildings have been cleared across the Longbridge industrial site.

Shepherd Construction is well advanced with construction of the £66m Bournville College  within the proposed town centre and is on track to welcome its first students in September 2011.

Persimmon Homes has also signed a deal with the specialist regeneration developer to build homes on the western and eastern parts of the massive 468 acres industrial site.

Meanwhile, St. Modwen has also boosted its hopper of long term strategic land by paying £0.4m for two former UK Coal sites.

The first site comprises 60 acres at Pelsall in Walsall while the second consists of eight acres of land at Castle Gresley in Derbyshire.

“The acquisitions of two areas of land from UK Coal reflect our strategy of continually adding to our land bank to provide a long pipeline of profitable development projects to be managed and developed over the medium and longer term on behalf of our shareholders.”

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