Birmingham’s Our Future City plans: Here’s how Aston Triangle will look in 2040

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Birmingham City Council has high targets for providing homes and to reach net zero by 2030

New homes, car free travel routes and an ‘eco-town’ – big changes are coming to Aston Triangle, Nechells and Newtown and the surrounding areas over the next 20 years, chiefs say.

Launched by Cllr Ian Ward (Lab, Shard End) at a real estate conference in Leeds, Birmingham’s ‘Our Future City’ plan includes significant transformation of the Central North district. Home to a cluster of educational institutions labelled ‘Birmingham’s Knowledge Quarter’ and a fast growing tech sector of over 170 firms, chiefs want to grow this hub of research, learning, and development.

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Enhanced employment opportunities will be bolstered by strengthened transport connections, with 38 minute trips to London via HS2 and a metro extension connecting to Digbeth, Edgbaston, New Street, and on to Wolverhampton.

Most significantly, Birmingham City Council has high targets for providing homes and to reach net zero by 2030.

Over the next 20 years, the Centre North will be transformed into neighbourhoods easily connected by walking and cycling routes, with work, leisure, and shopping reachable without cars.

Key changes:

Heartlands Eco-town

By utilising “cleared and under developed sites” and opening up the Fazeley Canal frontage, chiefs hope to provide a wide range of homes for different needs and tenures.

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Active travel routes will incentivise walking and cycling while green technologies will be promoted for running homes, schools, and businesses.

Hotbed for digital technology businesses, the ‘Birmingham Innovation Campus’ next to Aston University, may be expanded while well-connected lesiure facilities, and community and green spaces will be developed.

Birmingham City UniversityBirmingham City University
Birmingham City University | LDRS

Connections

The most dramatic change will be the implementation of ‘greenways’ to enhance connectivity without the need for driving.

A new ‘linear’ park could appear on Jennens Road opposite the Aston University campus as well as a wide walkway connecting HS2 to Nechells centre, via Aston Uni, within a 15 minute walk.

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Plans to remove the Lancaster Circus flyover and remove subways and underused green spaces within the roundabout will connect large numbers of student accommodation in the Gun Quarter and around Staniforth Street.

The six-lane James Watt Queensway could be lined with trees and become a hub for public and active transport while the new ‘Aston Link’ will prioritise pedestrian and cycle crossing.

The main aim is to reduce car travel with investment earmarked to improve Duddeston Railway Station; options for SPRINT bus routes on the A47; and making the Aston Triangle a traffic-free quarter all being explored.

The metro extension will also provide a stop at New Canal Street, connecting the Knowledge Quarter and Digbeth.

Lancaster Circus Flyover. Lancaster Circus Flyover.
Lancaster Circus Flyover. | Birmingham City Council

Housing

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At the Bloomsbury estate in Nechells, open spaces, car parking, and home layouts “could” be improved: “The future of the estate could be reimagined to look at opportunities for providing new and improved affordable and social rent homes, which could include retrofitted properties that are more energy efficient and open spaces and shopping facilities that better serve the community.”

The Newton South estate comprising tower blocks, maisonettes, houses, and a school will benefit from “greening” for ” a more attractive environment”.

The document continues: “Options will be explored with residents to identify possible improvements to housing quality, as well as the potential for increasing numbers of new homes in such a sustainable location and to meet a need for social rented and affordable homes.”

Artist\’s Drawing Of Birds Eye View Of Birmingham Central NorthArtist\’s Drawing Of Birds Eye View Of Birmingham Central North
Artist\’s Drawing Of Birds Eye View Of Birmingham Central North | Google

The potential redevelopment of Netown Shopping centre will also be considered.

Glasswater Locks is being developed in Eastside by Berkeley Homes to deliver 754 homes and “luxury duplexes” and 667 flats will be built at One Eastside in a tower which will be Birmingham’s tallest.

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