£1.9bn Smithfield scheme to be reconsidered again after several setbacks

The Birmingham £1.9bn Smithfield redevelopment plans have been recommended for approval again following a key amendment.

Previous concerns were raised over the scheme’s open spaces and the connectivity currently proposed, causing another setback. 

A recent council report said that the applicant has committed to increasing the minimum size of Smithfield Park by 23% in response to these concerns.

The proposal is now set to be considered next week at the Birmingham planning committee meeting, pending the completion of a legal agreement.

The huge project in Digbeth is set to provide 82,000 sq m of office space, 3,079 apartments and 44,000 sq m of retail when complete.

Plans include a new home for the city’s historic Bull Ring markets, and new leisure and cultural spaces, including a festival square and landscaped park.

Previously, Smithfield Park and Manor Square were areas of concern for councillors, meaning revised proposals were deferred at a planning committee meeting last month.

There were also concerns about the size of Manor Square and its suitability for events such as the annual Pride festivities.

A new report indicates that the development could bring several benefits, such as the creation of new jobs, increased investment in the area, housing, a new public square, and publicly accessible open space.

Lendlease, the group behind the £1.9bn proposal, announced last month that it would be withdrawing from UK construction to focus exclusively on development and construction in Australia.

Despite this, the developer affirmed its commitment to its UK projects, including the £1.9 billion Smithfield scheme, and is aiming to secure planning permission as soon as possible.

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