St. Modwen Properties Plc (LSE: SMP), the UK's leading regeneration specialist, and its partner Advantage West Midlands have secured detailed planning permission from Birmingham City Council to develop a £70-million (approx. 78.5-million) town center at Longbridge a major mixed-use element of the company's £1 billion flagship regeneration project.
Potentially creating over 1,000 jobs, the new Longbridge town center will be delivered in three phases. The first phase will comprise an 85,000-ft² (approx. 8,000-m²) Sainsbury's store, car park, 2-acre urban park and elements of the new high street, whilst phases two and three will comprise an 80-bed hotel, 40 apartments, 80,000 ft² of retail space, restaurants and car parking.
The new two acre Austin Park will lead to the opening up of the river Rea for the first time in 100 years. St. Modwen will also deliver access roads into the new town center and continued local road improvements.
Bill Oliver, Chief Executive of St. Modwen, said: "Securing approval for the new Longbridge Town Centre is another example of how we continue to create value by progressing our sites through the planning process. It also emphasizes the weight and diversity of activity that is taking place across our major long-term schemes throughout the UK."
Once complete, the town center will establish a new heart for the community and a focal point for the overall £1 billion regeneration of the former MG Rover works at Longbridge. The town center project will provide an important economic boost to the area and create a diverse range of employment opportunities, potentially creating over 1,000 jobs. The £66 million Bournville College, which is situated within the proposed town center, is nearing completion and will welcome its first students in September 2011.
Elsewhere at Longbridge, significant other progress has been made:
- The first two office buildings to be completed at the Technology Park are almost fully let
- Construction work is underway at Park View, the first new residential scheme at Longbridge, which will deliver 115 houses and apartments
- A planning application is currently being prepared for up to 750 homes and a new park at Longbridge East, and
- Planning permission was recently granted for a new £5 million 'myplace' youth center for 13-19 year olds, which will be developed in partnership with Birmingham City Council.
A 15-year project, the 468-acre Longbridge site is being transformed by St. Modwen and Advantage West Midlands as part of the £1 billion regeneration of the former MG Rover works, delivering a sustainable community with the creation of 10,000 new jobs and up to 2,000 new homes.