Public invited to have their say on proposals for £3 billion Arden Cross development.
HS2 development plans in Soihull have moved forward this week, with planning applications for initial work on the site approved while a public consultation has been announced regarding future development of what is expected to be one of the country’s most important transport hubs.
Arden Cross, home to the HS2 Interchange Station and one of Britain’s best connected development sites, is asking the public for their views on its plans to create a new business, leisure and residential destination.
The proposed 140 hectare (346-acre) world-class, mixed use development, will be built to the east of the NEC campus and M42 motorway. It has the potential of boosting the regional economy of the West Midlands by more than £1 billion a year, while supporting up to 27,000 jobs and creating 3,000 new homes and 6 million sq ft of employment space.
Between 1st and 30th September, members of the public will be able to view the proposed plans at www.ardencross.com and leave their comments via an online form. People’s feedback will then be used to help inform the final proposed masterplan design.
Arden Cross sits alongside Birmingham Airport, the NEC, Birmingham Business Park and Jaguar Land Rover and is an integral part of the wider plans for the UK Central Hub. Linking the new HS2 Interchange Station to the nearby NEC, Airport, Resorts World and Birmingham International station, the development will provide direct access to London and the major regional centres of England via the high speed rail network.
The masterplan proposals have already been shared with the public via the Arden Cross website and people are now being invited to have their say about those plans in a month long consultation.
Ben Gray, Arden Cross Project Director said: “The intention for Arden Cross is to deliver a world class development with the HS2 Interchange Station at its heart and by bringing our masterplan details out to public consultation, we are a step closer to delivering that ambition.
“We are inviting the public to tell us what they think about our plans. The 346 acre site provides the opportunity to deliver significant economic growth and a sustainable mixed use environment bringing together new homes, work and learning places, all served by extensive transport links and car free public spaces.
“Unlocking this transformational opportunity will require a truly collaborative approach between the public and private sector and as we ask for input from the public, I am looking forward to working closely with central government, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, the Urban Growth Company and the West Midlands Combined Authority, as well as with local people, to bring our plans to fruition.”
From 1st September, details about the proposals and how to register feedback and give views can all be found at www.ardencross.com/consultation. Anyone can also register their interest to receive information on Arden Cross, and be notified more about the proposed plans, by connecting on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or by emailing email@example.com.
Meanwhile at a meeting of Solihull Council’s Planning Committee, held this week, three applications from HS2 Limited for land and buildings at the Interchange Triangle were approved.
The HS2 Act gives HS2 Limited the permission in principle for the overall scheme, but some details need to be approved by the Council, as the Local Planning Authority.
The applications related to the access, appearance, landscaping and layout of long stay car parking for the Interchange Station, and the building of a new Interchange Station and associated external works and the building of an Automated People Mover on an elevated viaduct with four stops.
Commenting on the decisions, Jonathan Bretherton, Managing Director of the Urban Growth Company which is leading infrastructure investment and delivery, as well as broader development plans at the UK Central Hub, said: “Our vision for The Hub, and Arden Cross in particular, has always been to create a sustainable, mixed-use place with the Interchange Station at its heart. Much work has gone into making Interchange Station world-leading in terms of environmentally sustainability so it’s really pleasing to see that work pay off with these approvals.
“Regarding the long-stay, surface car parking, we understand that HS2 needed to make this application in order to meet the tight delivery programme following the official ‘notice to proceed’ earlier this year.
“However, for a number of months we’ve had a partnership in place with HS2, the West Midlands Combined Authority and local landowners, Arden Cross Ltd, which has been progressing an alternative solution in the shape of multi-storey car parks.
“All the parties involved understand and agree that this alternative is the preferred way forward because it frees up prized development land that will deliver jobs, homes and growth on a scale comparable to Canary Wharf that will benefit of the whole of the West Midlands and the UK. As well as having that broad agreement in place, we have also jointly developed a funding mechanism to finance the multi-storey car park solution.
“It’s another example of how we’re working on behalf of Solihull Council to co-fund and co-deliver infrastructure projects that support our much broader growth plans for The Hub, while also ensuring the region is genuinely HS2-ready through the connectivity upgrades we’re delivering.”