Launch of the Birmingham city vision 2040
Date of Article
Jan 25 2021
Planning & development

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Laura Stops
Associate Partner, Planning & Development
0121 8207963 Email me About Laura
Laura is an Associate Partner with over 8 years post-qualification experience. She joined Carter Jonas in July 2021 and prior to this gained experience in both the public and private sector. Laura specialises in large-scale residential applications and site promotions, including new settlements and Green Belt release for national and local house builders, private developers and promoters and landowners. She is also highly experienced in acting for clients on industrial, commercial and retail projects, including brownfield redevelopment, stakeholder engagement and town centre uses.She provides clients with planning strategies, prepares and project manages complex planning applications, leads on Appeals and prepares representations and attends hearings in respect of site promotion.

On 26 January Birmingham City Council launches its vision for Central Birmingham up to 2040. Our Future City Plan: Central Birmingham 2040 is likely to build on the successful wave of new developments in the city centre which have been underpinned by the Big City Plan vision document, the Birmingham Development Plan, and the various masterplan documents covering different regeneration objectives.

The launch is the start of the conversation, but what should the city look to achieve over the next 20 years? 

Neal Allcock, Head of Midlands Planning, Carter Jonas - looking ahead towards a post-Covid world – believes that there needs to be a serious conversation about:

  • Building on the Council’s aspiration to create a truly mixed community in the city centre by encouraging the development of urban retirement living/later living in sustainable locations.
  • Considering the future of the city centre’s retail offer. Should this contract significantly? Do we need ground floor retail in mixed-use developments now? Should the provision of more ‘experienced’ based uses be encouraged alongside traditional retail to retain footfall in the city centre?
  • Determining what will the office market will look like in 2040. How will new occupiers be encouraged? Should the council’s new policies accept a reduction in offices to make way for alternatives such as residential in mixed-use buildings?
  • Making Birmingham a truly 24-hour world city by further supporting development of new tall buildings (15+ storeys) in the right locations.
  • Considering how Birmingham can support the burgeoning Build to Rent residential market as it adapts to changes in how people interact communally.
  • Planning for the evolution of outlying areas of the city centre, such as the Gun Quarter, Ladywood and Highgate. This should include a review of the Core Employment area status of parts of the Gun Quarter, especially given the changes proposed for residential permitted development rights in Class E uses.
  • Considering how special character of areas such as Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter can be further enhanced, encouraged and celebrated through new policies, without stymying appropriate new development.

Whilst these are our initial thoughts we look forward to watching the launch, and playing role in developing the vision.