Consultation starts on plans to transform 73 hectares of city centre into major mixed-use scheme

Birmingham City Council has started a public consultation on ambitious plans to transform 73 hectares of the city centre.

The Rea Valley Urban Quarter will become a mixed-use area delivering jobs, homes and a network of green spaces and pedestrian routes.

The scheme would provide more than 5,000 homes as well as a range of community facilities and employment space.

Expanding out from the Birmingham Smithfield development, the council said the area will focus on a “reimagined River Rea” as a green corridor that enhances its water management role and delivers significant biodiversity benefits.

As part of an extensive green infrastructure network, Highgate Park will be rejuvenated and reconnected to the wider city centre. In total over five hectares of new and improved public space will be created along with a series of pocket parks and green roofscapes.

It said the network will play a central role in reconnecting the area with the wider city centre and open up opportunities for the wider community in Highgate and beyond.

Extension of the Midland Metro tram network from Birmingham Smithfield and extended cycle network would boost connectivity.

The delivery of new homes will be matched by the provision of employment space to support business growth and job creation. Plans for the area will include opportunities to integrate businesses with new development and support improved accommodation or relocation.

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This announcement for the Rea Valley Urban Quarter demonstrates Birmingham’s continued ambition to transform the city, delivering new homes and improved employment opportunities. The announcement of Lendlease as our preferred development partner for the Birmingham Smithfield development has provided a catalyst to bring forward plans for the wider area and deliver the next phase of the Big City Plan.

“These exciting plans will create a vibrant, mixed use neighbourhood with a network of green spaces and routes at its heart providing high quality environments for current and future residents along with ecological benefits.”

Following the success of Birmingham Smithfield, the Rea Valley Urban Quarter will help complete the delivery of the largest area of transformation within the city centre. The city council has produced a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the area which sets out plans for major improvements to the areas infrastructure alongside guidance for future development and investment.

Public consultation on the SPD will run for eight weeks.