HS2 Interchange redesigned to accommodate extra homes and businesses
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Designs for the HS2 Interchange station close to Birmingham Airport and the NEC have been changed to accommodate additional space for new homes and businesses.
The Urban Growth Company and Solihull Council have reached the basis of an agreement with high speed rail delivery body, HS2 Ltd about how the design process for the new Interchange will be managed and delivered.
The agreement lays the foundations for major development at the site, known as Arden Cross.
The changes include the development of a plaza and public transport interchange at the new HS2 station. Surface car parking will also be replaced with multi-storey car parks to free up more land for development, while there will also be improved pedestrian links and additional capacity for future utilities requirements.
The changes also support reduced journey times on the automated people mover connecting passengers between Birmingham Airport, the NEC, Birmingham International Station and the HS2 Interchange Station.
As well as ensuring the HS2 Interchange Station is better connected to local transport services, including future Metro and Sprint routes, the changes will open-up the wider Arden Cross site for major development creating jobs, new commercial space and homes.
The UGC – established by Solihull Council to maximise the opportunities around the new Interchange Station site – has worked jointly with Solihull Council to secure £9.8m of Devolution Deal funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to enable HS2 Ltd to design the changes.
Speaking at the international property conference MIPIM, where full details of the changes were being unveiled, Cllr Ian Courts, deputy leader of Solihull Council, said: “This agreement means we really can make the most of HS2’s arrival and deliver up to 77,500 new jobs, 775,000 sqm of commercial space, 4,000 new homes and generate £4.1bn every year as a result.
“It also means that people across the region will be better connected than ever, thanks to the improvements to local transport links.”
UGC chairman Nick Brown added: “We’ve always said the area has the potential to drive nationally-significant economic growth – but only if the vision for Interchange Station site was sufficiently ambitious.
“That’s why we’ll continue to work hard with the WMCA and HS2 Ltd – to make sure these new plans for the Interchange Station site match that ambition and are future-proof.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “HS2 offers the West Midlands an envious opportunity in terms of jobs, development and investment.
“It also offers the opportunity to really think about how we maximise the benefits for the wider borough of Solihull helping to drive economic performance and growth in what is already the UK’s economic powerhouse.”
Mike Lyons, HS2 Programme Director for the Greater West Midlands, said: “Interchange Station is one of two state-of-the-art stations that we’re building in the West Midlands, putting this region at the heart of the HS2 network.
“Not only will it boost rail capacity and improve journeys, the station will kick-start thousands of new jobs and homes in the surrounding area. It’s great to be working with local partners to grasp this huge opportunity – contributing to an exciting era of growth and development across the Greater West Midlands.”
Construction of the project is expected to be funded by further HS2 Growth Strategy funds and will be subject to future planning approvals.