First new village centre in regeneration area gets go-ahead

(5th June 2007)

A big boost to the Regenerating North Solihull programme has been received in the form of outline planning permission being granted for a £20million village centre for North Arran Way, Smith's Wood.

Following the positive outcome from Solihull Council's planning committee, the North Solihull Partnership is working up detailed designs to determine the exact make up of the proposed new shops, High Street and market square, youth and community facilities, a health centre, and a new primary school. 140 new houses, bungalows and apartments have also been granted planning permission and will be created alongside the Village Centre.

The Arran Way Village Centre will be created on the existing site of Kingfisher Primary School, existing properties on Kingfisher Drive, and the Smith's Wood Shopping Precinct on Arran Way, which are all being replaced with state of the art new buildings as a fundamental part of the proposals.

Janet Bradbury, chief executive of the North Solihull Partnership, the consortium behind the 15 year project to transform the area, said: "Regenerating North Solihull has made steady progress over the past two years, with the first primary school and several residential schemes now either complete or well underway, but this is the first commercial part of the 15 year project that will offer new shops and facilities that every resident of the local area will enjoy.

"As well as improving the overall housing stock in North Solihull, the £1.8billion regeneration programme is also committed to creating sustainable communities where residents have all the amenities they need, be it shops, business premises, local services or a doctor's surgery, right on their doorstep."

The new Arran Way village centre will be developed in three separate phases. Phase one would comprise the construction of a row of buildings on the west side of a new High Street and development of the new primary school on the east side of the High Street. Phase one would provide 1,409 square metres (15,166 sq ft) of retail floorspace in 10 units, including a 390 square metre (4,197 sq ft) foodstore, as well as 767 square metres (8,256 sq ft) of business floorspace on the ground floor, with 20 two-bedroom apartments occupying the upper floor space.

Phase two will see the construction of the 620 square metre (6,674 sq ft) community centre, which would be sited on the east side of the High Street, to the immediate north of the new primary school site.

Phase three will see the erection of eight further buildings on the east side of the High Street, providing 331 square metres (3,563 sq ft) of retail floorspace in three units, 250 square metres (2,691 sq ft) of business floorspace in one unit, a day nursery, a medical/dental centre, 11 two-bedroom apartments, and five, four-bedroom townhouses.

The first of the adjoining residential schemes - which will be built on land between Tamar Drive and Kingfisher Primary School playing fields - will see the construction of two, one-bedroom apartments, 38 two-bedroom apartments, 21 three-bedroom houses, and four, four-bedroom houses.

The second residential development - being constructed on land that is currently occupied by the relocating Kingfisher Primary School - will see the erection of 24 two-bedroom apartments, five, two-bedroom bungalows, one, two-bedroom house, and 24 three-bedroom houses. A new road will link the development to the new village centre.

The three village centre residential schemes are part of the Regenerating North Solihull target of creating 8,000 new homes, with another 12,500 being upgraded. Transport link, infrastructure and open space improvements, 10 new primary schools, and a total of five new village centres are also planned. The transformation of the 1,000 acre North Solihull regeneration area is expected to take around 15 years.

The North Solihull Partnership is made up of Solihull Council, Bellway Homes, regeneration specialists Inpartnership and Registered Social Landlord Whitefriars Housing Group.


For further information please contact Alun Thorne at Core Marketing, 0121 643 8151.