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Birmingham gives green light to £165m Soho Wharf

31 Jan 20 Birmingham City Council has approved plans for a £165m housing development on a derelict site on Birmingham’s Main Line Canal.

Soho Wharf has been designed and master-planned by Claridge Architects,
Soho Wharf has been designed and master-planned by Claridge Architects,

Joint venture partners Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital’s proposed scheme at Soho Loop comprises 102 two and three-bedroom townhouses and 650 one and two-bedroom apartments. The plans include more than 10,000 sq ft of commercial space, new public realm, parks and gardens, and shared amenity spaces.

The 11.7-acre site is on Dudley Road, opposite Birmingham City Hospital.

Called Soho Wharf, the scheme has been designed and master-planned by Claridge Architects, which worked with the joint venture partnership on its Timber Yard development in Southside.

Galliard Homes chairman Stephen Conway said: “Our vision for Soho Wharf is to deliver a residential-led, mixed-use scheme that will be truly transformative for Birmingham. We are pleased the council shares our vision for the site.

“The approved scheme forms part of the Greater Icknield Masterplan, the largest brownfield housing-led redevelopment framework within Birmingham and is therefore strategically important for the long-term regeneration of the area, which is already undergoing major change.

“Soho Wharf is the next big development opportunity and with planning now in place we’re excited to be bringing the project forward and helping the council achieve its ambition of creating more homes and attractive places to live for the people of Birmingham.”

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Historically, the site was partially occupied by a large glasshouse in the late 18th century and was known as Park Glass House. The building was constructed by local glasscutter Isaac Hawker to store and transport his glass products along the canal. The glassworks were demolished in the 1870s and replaced by silverworks.

As part of Birmingham’s expansion throughout the 19th and 20th century, the site and surrounding area were redeveloped with various industrial and residential properties.

Apsley House Capital director Robin Norstrom said: “Throughout history, the site has played an important part in the development of the city, through the provision of jobs at the factories and the homes that once occupied the site. Strategically located between Edgbaston and Jewellery Quarter, Soho Wharf will be the start of a new chapter, bringing the site back to life and enhancing the local area with a design-led urban scheme that provides a mix of homes, commercial space, amenities and public realm.”

The joint venture between Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital was formed in 2016 with the aim of acquiring brownfield sites to redevelop in the West Midlands. The partnership currently has five sites in Birmingham, with a gross development value of more than £500m.

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