Hundreds of apartments on former MG Rover factory in Birmingham get go ahead

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Developer St Modwen is behind the plans and has already committed to 700 homes on the former British car factory site

Over 200 apartments on the old MG Rover site in Longbridge have been approved - despite only 5 per cent allocated as affordable housing. This is a full 30 per cent lower than the council’s own policy requirement.

The plot of land off Dalmuir Road will have just 11 affordable flats out of 205 as a councillor remarks it’s ‘a long way short’ of what is needed. Planning officers justified the arrangement as it was ‘more akin’ to the city’s needs.

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Developer St Modwen is behind the plans and has already committed to 700 homes on the former British car factory site. Three apartment blocks will contain a mixture of one and two-bed flats, accompanied by a 105-space car park fitted with electric vehicle charging points.

At a planning committee meeting last week (Thursday, December 1), some councillors made it clear they were unhappy with the 5 per cent affordable housing allocation.

Within this, three flats will be sold at a 30 per cent discount of market value and another eight as social and affordable rent. This falls well below the council’s own 35 per cent affordable housing policy requirement, but planners claim this arrangement is more suitable for Birmingham’s housing needs.

Flats planned for the former MG Rover factory site in Longbridge, BirminghamFlats planned for the former MG Rover factory site in Longbridge, Birmingham
Flats planned for the former MG Rover factory site in Longbridge, Birmingham | LDRS

Cllr Colin Green (Lib Dems, Sheldon) said: “This is a long way short of what we should be doing. It’s a huge redevelopment – I struggle to understand why we are letting people off when it’s such a big scheme.”

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A planning officer replied: “We did have a number of offers for affordable housing on the table which included up to 15 per cent, but they would be discount market. We took these offers into consideration and the acute need for social rent and affordable rent properties, but the 5 per cent offer was more akin to what the city requires.”

The flats will be within walking distance of Longbridge Town Centre. A central courtyard will be installed as well as roof terraces on each block. Birmingham City Council received 15 letters from residents regarding the plans.

One complaint was that Dalmuir Road is already very congested and full of potholes, and this would exacerbate those issues. Another complained about the lack of green infrastructures such as solar panels and trees, while a third raised concerns about pressure on healthcare and education in the area. At the planning committee meeting, five councillors voted in favour of the scheme while four abstained, meaning the application was approved.

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