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A development consortium has announced a £3 billion plan to create a sustainable new business, leisure and residential destination and world leading economic hub around HS2’s proposed Birmingham Interchange station.
Arden Cross is a 140-hectare (346-acre) site to the east of the NEC campus and M42 motorway. The developers say it has the potential to boost the regional economy of the Midlands by over a £1 billion, create and support up to 27,000 new jobs, and deliver up to 3,000 new homes and up to 6 million square feet of commercial development, connected through new public realm and green spaces which retain and enhance the historic landscape features across the site.
With the HS2 Interchange Station as the catalyst to create unprecedented economic growth, Arden Cross Limited has developed the masterplan in partnership with public sector stakeholders to reflect a shared vision to unlock the site’s full potential.
Located at the very heart of the UK, Arden Cross sits alongside Birmingham Airport, the NEC, Birmingham Business Park and Jaguar Land Rover.
Arden Cross Limited director, Ben Gray, said: “The intention for Arden Cross has always been to deliver a world class development with the HS2 Interchange Station at its heart and by launching our masterplan, we are a step closer to delivering that ambition. The Arden Cross Limited shareholders are focused on creating a game-changing legacy that will lift the entire Midlands economy.
“Our 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 collaborative approach between the public and private sector and as we put our masterplan on show for the first time. I am looking forward to continuing to work closely with central government, Solihull Council, the Urban Growth Company, the West Midlands Combined Authority, regional stakeholders and local communities to bring our plans to fruition.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, has welcomed the launch of the masterplan. He said: “The Arden Cross masterplan is exactly the kind of vision and ambition that will help to drive both the regional and national economy forward.
“By actively working together and capitalising on the jump start that HS2 has created, Arden Cross has the opportunity to be truly transformational and deliver a whole new business and residential community of national importance, centred around the principles of sustainability and connectivity, while also creating new neighbourhoods and locations for leisure and learning as well as living and working.”
Nick Brown, Chairman of the Urban Growth Company (UGC), which is leading infrastructure investment and development across the wider UK Central Hub, said: “A huge amount of work has
been undertaken by all the partners to get to this stage so we welcome the ambition of this masterplan which is perfectly aligned to our wider ambitions for the UK Central Hub. For example, we now see HS2 on board with plans for The Hub, including support for multi-storey car parks at Arden Cross rather than surface car parks which would hugely frustrate development opportunities there.
“That coming together of partners and agreement of shared principles means we are moving ever closer to our joint goal of greenbelt release and delivering high-quality, sustainable, mixed-use development. That is how we’ll create the jobs, homes, commercial spaces and world-class connectivity the region needs now more than ever.”
This article first appeared on www.railengineer.co.uk
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