Following the news that plans have been approved to develop the derelict former Tesco site in Stirchley, Steve McCabe MP (Birmingham Selly Oak) is calling on the developer to consult with the local community about the design, layout and feel of the development.
Birmingham City Council’s Planning Committee met today, Thursday 13 February, to consider two planning applications submitted by Seven Capital for their derelict site on Hazelwell Lane in Stirchley. The applications include proposals to build 87 houses and a retail development consisting of a supermarket, gym and 2 smaller retail units.
The applications were only for outline planning permission so the full details will be subject to a further planning application. Steve McCabe MP and Cllr Mary Locke have repeatedly warned that another soulless retail park is not welcome in Stirchley and are urging the developers to work with the community on a sympathetic design.
The MP has expressed his disappointment that the developers are only required to provide 11 affordable housing units on the site which is only 12.6% of houses on the site. The City Council’s own target is for 35% of affordable housing on all developments of more than 15 dwellings so this falls way short of the council’s own planning policy.
Both the MP and the local councillor want an assurance from Seven Capital that the rents for the smaller retail units, adjacent to the British Oak, will be affordable so independent businesses have a chance of securing the space.
Councillor Mary Locke has also welcomed the condition that the triangle parcel of land opposite the site will be developed as public open space before the supermarket and gym are open but wants to know how Seven Capital will include the community in the design of the space.
Steve McCabe MP said:
“It is quite outrageous that there will only be 11 affordable houses on the site despite a chronic housing shortage across the city. I am not clear why the Council have a policy of 35% affordable homes on developments of more than 15 houses when it is almost never enforced.
“However, I am pleased that things seem to be moving with this site. It has been vacant for far too long and the area needs regeneration. What we don’t want is another soulless retail park. Stirchley has a thriving independent businesses scene and we need a development that will complement the other good things that are happening. It’s only outline planning permission so I want to extend an olive branch to Seven Capital and encourage them to involve the local community as the plans take shape.”
Councillor Mary Locke said:
“This site has been derelict for too long, so I think this is a positive step forward. Now we need the developer to work with our community to make sure this is a development we can support which benefits our high street and doesn’t negatively impact it.”