Four images of Druids Heath of the future unveiled by Birmingham City Council - but locals have key question

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Birmingham City Council has unveiled images of its masterplan for the south Birmingham suburb of Druids Heath as residents raise a key question

Calming waterways and lush greenery surrounding two-storey and four-storey homes are featured in an ambitious masterplan for a south Birmingham suburb.

It’s a far cry from the present day Druids Heath where empty tower blocks dominate the skyline with no date given for their demolition.

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The area was recently featured in a new TV drama called This Town from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight showcasing the birth of ska music in the West Midlands amid social and racial tensions in the 1980s.

CGI of Druids Heath 2044 plansCGI of Druids Heath 2044 plans
CGI of Druids Heath 2044 plans | Birmingham City Council

The plans for a dramatic transformation of the neighbourhood were unveiled to the local community by the council at an event at Manningford Hall on Bells Lane yesterday (Tuesday, May 7) - and a key concern was raised.

Residents raise key question about Druids Heath plans and the present issues facing the estate

As the bold vision for Druids Heath was unwrapped the council received enquiries from residents concerned they may be priced out of the area. Locals also raised questions about interim works to make the estate safer and cleaner with fly tipping an issue.

CGI of Druids Heath 2044 plansCGI of Druids Heath 2044 plans
CGI of Druids Heath 2044 plans | Birmingham City Council

Councillor Jayne Francis, cabinet member for housing and homelessness, said: "We understand residents' concerns about being priced out of the area. For this reason, the council is looking at how we can use different financial models to give residents an opportunity to remain on the estate.

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“We will let residents know more about these models as soon as we are able. It is really important to the council that everyone who wants to stay in Druids Heath can do so. Regenerating an area is always a lengthy process.

“For this reason, the council will bolster services for tenants on the estate by installing more CCTV, implementing a specific repairs service for Druids Heath, and increasing cleaning provision to tackle fly-tipping."

What else has Birmingham City Council said about the transformation of Druids Heath?

The authority has explained that the masterplan is the result of two years of work, talking with and listening to the community to create a plan that can meet the needs of the people who live and work in the area.

The council further stated that the proposed regeneration aims to make Druids Heath a more sustainable and greener place to live in the long term as new high-quality, energy-efficient homes will be built alongside “excellent green spaces”. 

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CGI of Druids Heath 2044 plansCGI of Druids Heath 2044 plans
CGI of Druids Heath 2044 plans | Birmingham City Council

They said that the commercial and community spaces in Druids Heath will also be revitalised as part of the plan. A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council said: “Staff were at the launch event to answer questions and receive feedback from the community about the plans, with more events planned over the next few days. An extensive consultation on the plans will begin in the coming months before approval for the plans will be sought next year.”

Cllr Francis further explained: "The masterplan marks the beginning of a new chapter for the regeneration of Druids Heath. This new plan shows how Druids Heath will be transformed into a healthier, more sustainable area by building on its key strengths - community spirit and abundance of green space.

"This regeneration scheme will build the types of homes we need to tackle climate change, reduce fuel bills, and contribute to the city's net zero ambitions. It will also bring much-needed provisions for older residents so they can live healthy, independent lives for longer.

CGI of Druids Heath 2044 plansCGI of Druids Heath 2044 plans
CGI of Druids Heath 2044 plans | Birmingham City Council

“New greenways will be built to better connect the estate within the community and the estate to the surrounding city. The scheme goes beyond delivering new homes; the regeneration will create a sustainable, healthy community that will allow anyone who lives there to thrive.

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"While the masterplan is a big step forward for the scheme, much more work remains, and there will be more decisions to be made with the local community about the scheme. With that in mind, an independent steering group representing residents, stakeholders, and businesses is being established to help influence future decisions regarding the regeneration.

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