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Major Birmingham brownfield regeneration gets underway

Work has begun on Birmingham’s Port Loop project, which is one of the UK’s largest brownfield regeneration schemes.

The urban island, encircled by two canals, will eventually include 1,150 new homes, as well as commercial property and community facilities across the 43-acre site.

40 of the properties will be created offsite by House, which is the modular housing arm of regeneration specialists, Urban Splash.

The original Icknield Port Loop was born out of the industrial revolution, with the first winding canal being constructed in the area between 1766 and 1769, before a straight canal by-pass, the Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line, created an urban island in 1827.

The project is a joint venture between Urban Splash and development and regeneration company, Places for People. Both will work in tandem with landowners Canal & River Trust and Birmingham City Council.

The developers say the start on site of the first 77 homes means that work is now underway to ‘realise an ambitious masterplan that will feature not only new homes but also shared courtyard gardens, new public parks and community spaces together with canalside retail, leisure and commercial facilities.’

Adam Willetts, project director for the Urban Splash and Places for People JV, said: ‘This transformative project is a catalyst for even wider regeneration of the Icknield Port Loop area for family city living, all just 15 minutes’ walk from Birmingham city centre. With creative and innovative design built in, our aim is to bring huge benefits to the existing community as well as those attracted to the new development with vibrant new uses for the canals and canal-side spaces and providing a range of modern homes.

‘The extensive and multifaceted remediation of the site has been underway since the start of the year, including the complex rebuilding of the canal walls, clearing and recycling around 60,000 cubic metres of soil and materials and re-engineering the site levels to get it ready for bringing this new neighbourhood to life.’

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Ian Ward, says: ‘This is, without doubt, one of the most exciting residential developments in the city for a very long time. The variety of housing types, layouts and sizes will lead to the creation of a genuinely mixed, multi-generational community attracted to a unique waterside location with sustainable access to the very core of the city.’

 

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter

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