St. Modwen, one of the UK’s leading housebuilders and logistics developers, has secured planning permission to deliver workspaces and homes in a new mixed-use district of Longbridge. The scheme, which is located on the historic MG Rover site in Birmingham that was the birthplace of the MINI, will support Government initiative to deliver a 40% increase in public investment in research and development throughout the Midlands and other regions over the next ten years.
Upon completion it is anticipated that over 1,200 employment opportunities and more than 1,000 new homes will be created in the newly established sustainable community.
As part of the plans, the iconic heritage buildings will be retained. These include the International HQ, the Roundhouse, the Car Assembly Building (CAB 1), the Conference Centre, and the Dalmuir Road steps which will provide a key connection to Longbridge Town Centre.
Following an assessment, the former Mini factory site will deliver over 85% Biodiversity Net Gain which is five times more than what would be considered a ‘good’ increase. Biodiversity Net Gain is a key component of the Government’s Environmental Bill and ensures that nature is placed at the heart of planning and development with benefits for wildlife and people.
Rob Flavell, Senior Director for St. Modwen, said: “After three years of preparatory work we’re delighted to receive permission to create another amazing new neighbourhood in Longbridge. Proceeding with this next phase of our plan will mean yet another positive addition for the expanding Longbridge business community and create much-needed new homes in the area, new cycling and walking routes and attractive green spaces. Creating a thriving environment for people to live and work has always been a primary objective for St. Modwen and our partners in this project. When complete this part of Longbridge will be larger than the King’s Cross regeneration in London.
“Acknowledging the history of this iconic site throughout its regeneration is a priority for St. Modwen as we deliver a new future for Longbridge that the entire region can be proud of.”
Planning permission has also been granted for a new industry-leading precision engineering centre sought by St. Modwen on behalf of Waters Corporation and will create up to 100 highly skilled new jobs. Waters Corporation are global leaders in speciality measurement equipment and employ over 7,000 experts across the world.
Work on the specialist centre is scheduled to commence this Winter with opening planned for 2023.
When complete, the new facility will provide a world-class scientific centre developing high-value analytical technologies, offering industry-leading scientific expertise. The 45,000 sq ft building will deliver a 300% increase in available space for Waters Corporation compared to its existing premises in Solihull.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) invested £6M to support St. Modwen in the wider regeneration of the West Works site last year, with the infrastructure due to complete this Winter.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA, said: “Securing planning permission for another industry-leading scientific company to be based at Longbridge signifies a further positive development for the ongoing regeneration of Longbridge. I’m pleased that the WMCA has been able to support the rejuvenation of Longbridge as it’s a location that has delivered so much prosperity in the past and it will be playing a vital part in the West Midlands economy for the future.”
Elliot Sellars, Development Director at St. Modwen, said: “The new science premises for Waters Corporation will deliver further expertise in this specialist area that is developing at Longbridge. It is encouraging that globally recognised scientific organisations are seeing the potential that Longbridge has to offer both in terms of geographical benefits and attracting talented staff.
“Interest in opportunities at Longbridge are gaining momentum from businesses here in the West Midlands and throughout the world. We are delighted that the regeneration of this historic site is delivering benefits to the local and regional economy and it is exciting to see even more activity on the horizon.”