Combined authority seals deal with property developer

Andy Street and Robert Flavell
X The Business Desk

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The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has signed a partnership deal with leading property developer St. Modwen to build 5,000 energy efficient homes on disused industrial land over the next decade.

Overall, the agreement will support the WMCA’s target to deliver 215,000 homes across the region by 2031.

All 5,000 homes will be designed to be low energy in operation.

The agreement will see a minimum of 20% of the homes classed as affordable.

The deal came as a formal planning application was submitted by St. Modwen for the regeneration of the West Works site at the former MG Rover car plant in Longbridge.

The WMCA’s £6m investment into the project, to help clean up the land and make it ready for redevelopment, will unlock a £300m total investment at West Works.

St. Modwen’s planning application for 350 homes on the site has been submitted to Birmingham City Council and is in addition to a new Longbridge Business Park offering up to 900,000 sq ft of commercial space which is expected to create up to 5,000 jobs.

The scheme will also open over 1km of the River Rea to the public for the first time including a walking and cycling route linking West Longbridge to the Town Centre.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “By working with St. Modwen we’ve managed to unlock one of the region’s most iconic brownfield sites – Longbridge’s West Works. I am therefore delighted that we’ve signed this MOU to continue to work together on more schemes in the future, as we look to build more homes and create more jobs right across the West Midlands.

“At the heart of any work we do together will be brownfield regeneration, as we focus on breathing new life into former derelict industrial sites and their surrounding areas, protecting our precious greenbelt land in the process.

“The West Works site is the first example of this, and I am really pleased we’re pressing on with the future vision for the site with the planning application submitted today.”

Robert Flavell, senior director at St. Modwen, said: “St. Modwen is very proud to be able to sign up to this landmark agreement with the WMCA which will help bring much needed new homes and jobs to areas throughout the West Midlands.

“The regeneration of Longbridge is a fine example of how partnership working can bring huge economic, social and environmental benefits. Our plans for West Longbridge will deliver high-quality, energy efficient and environmentally friendly new homes, new commercial space which will bring investment and jobs to the town and a range of green spaces for people to enjoy.

“We’re looking forward to working alongside the WMCA as part of this agreement and believe it will act as a catalyst to creating new communities which will be of benefit to those who live in, work in and visit the region.”