700 homes for ex-MG car factory in Longbridge approved

11 people objected to the plans including a councillor and Northfield MP Gary Sambrook
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Plans for 700 new homes have been approved in Birmingham on the site of a famous British car-making brand.

The former MG Works on Lowhill Lane, Longbridge will now be transformed into a huge complex which includes hundreds of new homes, a park, and a cafe next to an old World War Two tunnel system.

Objections to the application were received from 11 people, including one councillor and Birmingham Northfield MP Gary Sambrook.

Issues were raised related to parking and noise disturbances as well as concerns around fly-tipping.There are also several schools which sit next to the property. But Birmingham City Council planning chiefs decided to green-light the application after assurances that at least 15 per cent of the homes would be affordable housing.

The site, which originally formed part of Longbridge Motor Works and the famous British car maker MG motorcars, was mostly cleared in 2020, but some heritage buildings including the roundhouse have been retained. Planners say this would help to preserve “the important history linked to the site.”

Homes planned for former MG car factory site in LongbridgeHomes planned for former MG car factory site in Longbridge
Homes planned for former MG car factory site in Longbridge

What have councillors said about recommending the application?

In recommending the application, Cllr Lee Marsham said: “I love the keeping of the heritage features. Heritage assets build the fabric of our city.

“We’ve got a huge number of homes on there, it’s a massive site and it is very much needed in south Birmingham.”

At the start of the meeting councillors were assured that the development would come with a guaranteed 15 per cent of affordable housing.

Planning bosses say the retention of the Roundhouse and conference centre buildings will also provide opportunities for businesses and jobs.

Homes planned for former MG car factory site in LongbridgeHomes planned for former MG car factory site in Longbridge
Homes planned for former MG car factory site in Longbridge

Is there still a flooding risk in the area?

But cllr Delaney said the first focus of the development should be the flooding risk which has been “an ongoing problem for many years”.

Cllr Delaney said: “This is a very large planning application with the proposal to build up to 695 new homes and since the collapse of the former MG Rover car company we have seen a large amount of new residential homes, office accommodation, college, retail and the new town centre built on the former factory site.

“With an increase in the population and movement on and off the former factory site, this is putting additional strain on many local services including doctors’ surgeries, schools and the local road network.

“With this in mind if this application is approved then I would like to see a large financial contribution provided by the developer to help pay for and provide additional capacity for schools, and doctors’ surgeries and to help repair and improve local roads in particular the Lickey Road.

“Not only is the Lickey Road in serious need of repair with many potholes, but we also have a serious problem with flooding.

“If you are minded to approve this application, then funding should be made available to help increase the capacity of the drains on the Lickey Road just before the junction with Lowhill Lane on the outward-bound carriageway from the City.

“The flooding issue in this location has been ongoing for many years and a long-term solution needs to be found before we agree to such a large development.”

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