Plans for 350 homes on former car plant is 'important step for Longbridge's regeneration'

Andy Street said planning approval for 350 new homes at a former MG Rover car plant is an “important step” for the regeneration of Longbridge.

Aerial view of the former MG Factory site. Photo: Birmingham City Council
Aerial view of the former MG Factory site. Photo: Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council’s planning committee unanimously approved an application from St Modwen Developments Ltd for the land to the west and north of the A38 Bristol Road South, Longbridge, on Thursday.

All buildings were demolished ten years ago ahead of redevelopment at the site, which was formerly part of the wider MG Rover car plant which closed in 2005.

The latest phase will add to the 1,450 homes already built at the development and work is expected to start in Autumn 2022.

Now, 62,700 square metres of the site will be given up to new housing while 77,900 square metres will be public open space and access arrangements from the A38 Bristol Road are set to take up 14,000 square metres.

A range of housing forms were laid out in an illustrative masterplan included with the application, including one and two-bed flats and two to four-bed houses.

Five letters of objection were received following a public consultation, with concerns including noise and wildlife destruction, dust pollution and loss of green view.

A planning officer recommended the plans were approved subject to a legal agreement to secure 20 per cent affordable housing as well as the provision of £1.42 million for off-site social rent affordable housing.

This would include 18 per cent discounted open market (discounted at 80 per cent of its open market value) and two per cent social rent.

During the meeting, Councillor Gareth Moore raised concerns around parking and an officer stated this would be dealt with in the reserved matters application.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has put forward £6 million in grant funding to support the redevelopment of the West Longbridge area.

Speaking after the decision, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “Securing planning permission for this latest development of housing represents yet another important step for the regeneration of Longbridge.

“For those of us familiar with the troubled history of this site it really is brilliant to see the rejuvenation of Longbridge coming along, and I am delighted the WMCA has been able to play its part in making that happen.

“This scheme is the latest in a long line that we have helped fund, bringing derelict brownfield land back into use to create much-needed new homes and new jobs for local people.

“Not only that, but our brownfield-first approach to redevelopment across the West Midlands also helps protect our precious and irreplaceable greenbelt land.”

Rob Flavell, Senior Director for St Modwen, said: “Housing has always been an integral part of our plans here at Longbridge.

“More businesses are coming to Longbridge and employees require good quality, local housing.

“I’m delighted that the next phase of this regeneration can progress and the whole team here at St Modwen are looking forward to more significant developments at Longbridge throughout 2022.”

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