In July 2019 we appointed David Lock Associates who are working with us to develop a wider masterplan for the city, that incorporates the Birmingham Road site.
The David Lock Associates team, supported by Integrated Transport Planning and Springboard, were appointed following a competitive tender exercise. Tenders were appraised on a number of key criteria, ranging from the team’s experience in delivering master planning exercises, their approach to developing a vision for the city centre, their processes for maintaining quality and the experience and knowledge of team members.
We identified the overarching principles that underpins the masterplan and any future long-term development of the Birmingham Road Site. These include that the masterplan and development of the site should:
- Reflect the lifestyle and needs of the community.
- Be realistic and deliverable.
- Be an attraction to encourage people to visit and stay in our district and city.
- Enhance the public realm.
- Provide economic benefit through job creation and investment opportunities.
We know from feedback that lots of people would like the site to be developed as quickly as possible. While we share this view, we know how important it is not to rush into a development without being sure it will be appropriate, inclusive and sustainable.
As a result, we will develop the area in a staged approach that allows for significant and proper planning as part of a wider masterplan, so that:
- We can carry out a planning exercise that allows us to consider the needs of the city and district and to look at what the site can provide holistically.
- We can identify wider infrastructure needs and ensure costs are apportioned across a range of uses/developers in a mixed use scheme.
- We can adopt a joined-up approach for different land uses and ensure they are interlinked and cohesive.
- We can deliver a scheme that will be more likely to attract capital contributions from partners such as the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and other bodies such as Homes England.
- We will be able to properly involve stakeholders, partners and local people/businesses.
- We will be able to rigorously test our evidence base to ensure any development is both feasible and sustainable.
- We can ensure we achieve the maximum return for the local community and council by spreading risk and costs.