Birmingham City Council’s planning committee has approved a resolution to grant planning permission to developer St Modwen for the construction of a 150,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer store and an additional 45,000 sq ft of retail space, together with surface and multi-storey car parks.
St Modwen said that construction work would now start on site in the autumn, with planned completion scheduled to enable trading by Christmas 2015.
St Modwen had originally been hoping to start construction by summer. (See previous report here.)
Chief executive Bill Oliver said: "The development of the new 150,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer store, the anchor of the second phase of the new Town Centre at Longbridge, represents a significant milestone at this major regeneration project and is a key part of our overall aim to create business and employment opportunities in the area."
St. Modwen originally acquired the 468 acre former MG Rover site at Longbridge in 2003. The 15-year, £1bn regeneration project will culminate in the creation of a mixed-use community with up to 2,000 new homes together with employment and retail facilities to support up to 10,000 jobs. Following a major remediation programme across the site, St Modwen started works in 2007. Longbridge currently incorporates:
- Longbridge Technology Park
- the £66m Bournville College
- assembly plant of the Chinese-owned MG Rover (UK) Ltd, the largest physical investment by a Chinese car manufacturer in the UK
- a £7m investment in infrastructure to improve access off the A38 and Longbridge Lane South
- more than 350 new homes being developed by St Modwen Homes and Persimmon Homes
- more than 200,000 sq ft of industrial space at the Cofton Centre
- a £5m youth centre called The Factory
- the £2m Austin Park.
- the first phase of the £70m town centre which includes an 80,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s, a 75-bedroom Premier Inn, Beefeater Grill, 24 shops, restaurants and 35,000 sq ft of offices.
Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore said: “It is extremely encouraging for Longbridge to see this substantial level of investment from a major national retailer. This significant commitment by Marks & Spencer is a reflection of the ever increasing confidence being generated by Longbridge and in southwest Birmingham and recognition of the impressive impact St Modwen has made in the regeneration of this important brownfield site."