Affordable homes set to be delivered sooner than expected at Perry Barr Residential Scheme

Birmingham: Updated plans designed to maximise the regeneration benefits of the Perry Barr Residential Scheme are detailed in a Revised Full Business Case (RFBC) Update due before Cabinet on July 27.

Following last year’s announcement the scheme will not have a temporary first use as the Birmingham 2022 Athletes’ Village, the city council has carried out an extensive review to ensure it best meets the future needs of the people of Birmingham.

A key change is a proposal to review the housing planned for three undeveloped plots within the scheme’s 11 plots to make sure that the new homes are of the right size and type now that there is no temporary use planned for the Commonwealth Games.

It is also intended to deliver all 312 affordable homes pledged across the scheme into three of the four plots currently in development.

The report to Cabinet additionally recommends the phased delivery of the remaining development plots in order to ensure a balanced supply of new housing to the market, to ensure need locally can be best met.

As well as this, it also proposes undeveloped and uncommitted sites across the wider “Village” site and Birchfield Gateway are prepared by the council for future development through a mixture of land remediation and demolition.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Once the decision was made to move away from a single, purpose-built Athletes’ Village for the Commonwealth Games, a lot of work has gone into preparing these revised proposals.

“We will continue to do everything we can to meet our housing need – and in this case to maximise the benefits to both existing and future residents of Perry Barr and surrounding areas.

“It is particularly pleasing we now have a way forward that accelerates the delivery of all of the affordable homes we had promised to deliver in the wider scheme. Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, these will now all be provided through the properties that are nearing completion meaning the council is doing its bit to address the desperate need for new homes locally.”

In progressing straight to the legacy development, the sustainability credentials of the project are being improved by eliminating sacrificial fixtures, fittings and building materials that would have been used only for Games-time.

Additional fitout works to the plots currently being built will also be undertaken earlier than originally planned to enable earlier occupation of the 968 new homes, with the first completed homes now set for disposal in early 2023.

Overall, the updated RFBC will cost an extra £45.8million after taking account of income from sales, but the revised approach to the future delivery of the elements of the project not currently under construction is now forecast to generate up to an extra £64.5million in net income.

Although subject to variation due to the long-term nature of the wider scheme, this means the move away from being used as an Athletes’ Village is currently set to deliver up to £18.7million to the council along with the non-financial advantage of being able to better shape the housing market for local people.

Once all amends are considered, the updated RFBC before Cabinet will have a total cost of £539.9million, slightly lower than the last version of the RFBC in March 2020 which stated £541.5million.

Cllr Ward added: “Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, we are firmly on track to deliver a sustainable regeneration project that will be a key part of the transformation of Birmingham thanks to the council’s bold ambition to spearhead the bid for the Commonwealth Games.

“Underpinned by the emerging Perry Barr 2040 Masterplan, which offers us a roadmap for the area’s future prosperity, this part of north-west Birmingham will become one of the most desirable places regionally, if not nationally, for people to live in, work in and call home.”

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