The vision, objectives and strategy

The vision - Birmingham in 2031

3.1 By 2031 Birmingham will be renowned as an enterprising, innovative and green City that has delivered sustainable growth meeting the needs of its population and strengthening its global competitiveness.

3.2 We will plan to ensure Birmingham's residents will be experiencing a high quality of life, living within attractive and well designed sustainable neighbourhoods. The choice and affordability of housing will be meeting the needs of all and local jobs and services will be accessible by a range of sustainable transport choices.

3.3 The City's economy will be strong and prosperous, built around a diverse base of economic activities and supported by a skilled workforce. The City Centre will have expanded, accommodating major new prime office developments and a series of exciting destinations boosting the cultural, leisure and retail offer. The network of thriving local centres will reflect the diversity of the City and the needs of local people.

3.4 The historic environment and the sense of place of localities throughout the City will have been enhanced. The City will have achieved high sustainability credentials with resilient, adaptive environments with all new developments built to high standards of design.

Proposals for Paradise Circus

Proposals for Paradise Circus

Objectives

3.5 To deliver the vision of Birmingham in 2031 and ensure that future development meets the aspirations for the City the objectives of the BDP are:

  • To develop Birmingham as a City of sustainable neighbourhoods that are safe, diverse and inclusive with locally distinctive character.
  • To make provision for a significant increase in the City's population.
  • To create a prosperous, successful and enterprising economy with benefits felt by all.
  • To promote Birmingham's national and international role.
  • To provide high quality connections throughout the City and with other places including encouraging the increased use of public transport, walking and cycling.
  • To create a more sustainable City that minimises its carbon footprint and waste, and promotes brownfield regeneration while allowing the City to grow.
  • To strengthen Birmingham's quality institutions and role as a learning City and extend the education infrastructure securing significant school places.
  • To encourage better health and well-being through the provision of new and existing recreation, sport and leisure facilities linked to good quality public open space.
  • To protect and enhance the City's heritage assets and historic environment.
  • To conserve and enhance Birmingham's natural environments, allowing biodiversity and wildlife to flourish.
  • To ensure that the City has the infrastructure in place to support its future growth and prosperity.

The strategy

3.6 To meet Birmingham's future needs and achieve the vision, we will need to provide for significant new growth in the most sustainable way, ensuring that the development of new homes is matched by the provision of opportunities for new employment, accessible local services and a high quality environment.

3.7 Developing Birmingham's international role will be an important part of its economic success, attracting inward investment and visitors, and supporting the delivery of the growth agenda. Building on previous plans the approach will continue to be to promote urban regeneration, and to encourage investment and improvement within the city wherever possible. However the growth pressures facing the city are such that some development will be necessary outside the limits of the existing urban area.

Longbridge

Longbridge

The environment and sustainability

3.8 The City's future growth will be pursued in the most sustainable way; reducing the City's carbon footprint and creating resilient and adaptive environments. New development will need to be built to the highest sustainability standards, helping to generate wider benefits in terms of the quality of the environment and carbon reduction, be energy efficient, using renewable resources, and minimising the production of waste. The built environment will need to be resilient to the potential impacts of climate change with flood plains protected from inappropriate development and the sustainable management of the City's watercourses promoted.

3.9 All future development will need to be supported by suitable social and green infrastructure and set within environments that reflect the character and history of the City. Across the City all development must be well-designed, accessible and safe including for people with disabilities. Schools, health care facilities, shops and other services need to be available in accessible locations along with parks, sports facilities and well-maintained local public open space, forming part of a wider 'green infrastructure network' threading through the City and linking to the open countryside beyond. The canal network will continue to be promoted as a vital asset for the City, supporting movement, environmental and biodiversity quality and as the setting for development.

3.10 The historic environment will be central to shaping the City's future. Heritage assets will be valued and conserved as part of the delivery of distinctive places. Equally, biodiversity and geodiversity will be critical components in delivering a high quality of life. Birmingham's wide variety of natural environments will be protected and enhanced in line with the principles of the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area and taking account of the Arden and Cannock Chase and Cank Wood National Character Areas identified by Natural England. New opportunities for wildlife and biodiversity will be encouraged as part of new and existing development.

Economy and network of centres

3.11 The continued revitalisation and modernisation of the City's economy will be central to the growth agenda ensuring that jobs and prosperity are generated for current and future residents.

3.12 A continuous supply of land and full range of premises will be made available for all forms of employment development, including for the growth and modernisation of existing companies, the establishment of new businesses and to attract investment from both within the UK and internationally.

3.13 The City's Core Employment Areas will play an important role in accommodating the requirements of a wide range of economic sectors. These Core Employment Areas provide the City's main employment opportunities and include the Regional Investment Sites and other high quality areas such as The Hub, Witton and Bromford. To meet the City's need for a flexible supply of high quality sites, to accommodate economic development and investment, some development will need to take place on land removed from the Green Belt. The site at Peddimore will provide the City with much needed employment land of the right size and type for major investors.

3.14 Particular emphasis will be placed on ensuring that sites are available to support the economic sectors important to the City's economic growth. These include business, financial and professional services, creative and digital media, life sciences, food and drink, ITEC, logistics and advanced manufacturing.

3.15 Clustering these high growth sectors in specific locations will play a vital role in attracting investment and enabling growth. Six Economic Zones have been created to provide the clustering of economic activity within high quality business environments that are supported by the right infrastructure.

3.16 The Economic Zones are an Advanced Manufacturing Hub at the East Aston Regional Investment Site, ITEC Park at the Longbridge Regional Investment Site, Life Sciences Campus around the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Birmingham University Campus, Environmental District at Tyseley, Food Hub at the former IMI site at Witton and The City Centre Enterprise Zone (EZ). The EZ, covering 26 sites in the City Centre, will play a key role in delivering high quality office accommodation for growth in business, financial and professional services, and supporting digital media and creative industries.

3.17 Outside of the core employment areas other land in employment use will continue to be protected and the provision of accommodation for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be supported. Marginal industrial land of poor quality that no longer meets the requirements of the market or business needs may be promoted for redevelopment to alternative uses.

3.18 The provision of land and premises is only part of creating a prosperous economy and the City will need a skilled and competitive workforce now and in the future. The role of the Universities, education establishments and other providers will be central to ensuring the workforce is equipped to drive the economy.

3.19 A thriving network of centres will be central to delivering new office and retail development and other services to support communities throughout the City. The priority will be to promote retail and office development within the defined centres and resist development that would undermine the strength of the network.

3.20 This network comprises:

  • The City Centre, which will continue to be strengthened as a centre for financial and business services, and as a destination for shopping, business tourism and major cultural events with world class conference facilities and venues. Five wider areas of change will deliver the growth to strengthen the role of the City Centre, investing in new high quality buildings and public spaces and creating new vibrant destinations. This growth will be coupled with a focus on promoting the distinctive character of the Quarters. The success of the City Centre will be central in promoting the international profile of the City and attracting investment and visitors.
  • Sutton Coldfield Town Centre as a sub-regional centre is capable of accommodating significant additional comparison retail floorspace and some office space.
  • Perry Barr, Selly Oak and Meadway as district growth centres accommodating both retail and office uses at lower levels to the City Centre and subregional centre.
  • A network of some 70 other district and neighbourhood centres accommodating more limited levels of growth supporting local needs.

Plan 1 Employment sites

Plan 1 Employment sites

Homes and neighbourhoods

3.21 At the heart of the City's growth agenda will be the promotion of sustainable neighbourhoods as a means of supporting the City's increasing and diverse population in the most sustainable way possible. For sustainable neighbourhoods to flourish they will be supported by high quality local infrastructure and services, including a thriving network of local centres that provide for the local population and are accessible by a range of sustainable travel options.

3.22 High standards of design in new residential areas will be expected with a strong sense of place, environmental sustainability and climate proofing, attractive, safe and multi-functional public spaces and effective long-term management ensured. There will be an expectation that new housing will complement the character and environment of the surrounding area, in order to create high quality living environments, which promote good health and well-being.

3.23 In delivering the principles of sustainable neighbourhoods a wide choice of housing sizes, types and tenures will be provided to meet community needs including homes for families, the elderly and appropriate levels of affordable housing. The contribution that 'mature suburbs' make to quality and choice within the City's housing stock will continue to be maintained and enhanced.

3.24 Over the period 2011 to 2031 the focus will be on delivering as much of the new housing that the City needs within the urban area as possible subject to maintaining the attractiveness of neighbourhoods as places to live. Brownfield and other available sites within the existing built-up area, including major developments such as Greater Icknield, the Southern Gateway and Longbridge, will be the priority. Within the urban area there is capacity for some 45,000 homes including bringing vacant property back into use and utilising industrial land and some open space that no longer performs its original function.

3.25 While development in the urban area will be prioritised there is a limit to the amount of available space to accommodate the City's growing population. The removal of land from the Green Belt will provide for an additional 6,000 homes. Development in this location will be treated as a Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) and will be required to deliver the principles of sustainable neighbourhoods.

3.26 In order to ensure the most effective use of land we will seek to ensure a density of 40 dwellings per hectare throughout most new residential schemes with higher densities required in the City Centre and areas well served by public transport. There will also be an emphasis on improving existing housing of poor quality and replacing that which is beyond repair or improvement.

3.27 The strategy of the BDP is to accommodate as much of the City's housing requirement as possible within the boundary. However, the land that is available to the City to accommodate future development is limited. Alongside the BDP a wider growth strategy for the LEP area and other adjoining authorities will set out how and where the remaining housing could be delivered. This will take account of historic trends where adjoining authorities have accommodated a proportion of the City's growth.

Plan 2 Housing Sites

Plan 2 Housing Sites

Connectivity

3.28 If Birmingham is to deliver its growth agenda and attract investment it must provide the necessary infrastructure. This will include easy movement within the City and the provision of high quality transport links to the rest of the country and beyond.

3.29 Transport improvements, as set out in the BDP, will be required to support the overall strategy for growth and ensure that the City has a world class transport network that is delivered in the most sustainable way. The Birmingham Mobility Action Plan (BMAP) develops the City's transport requirements under a number of themes including:

  • City Centre connectivity and internal mobility.
  • Improving strategic connectivity for regionally and sub-regionally important locations.
  • Connected communities.

3.30 This transport vision for the City will support the Local Transport Plan (and its successors) and its delivery will require partnership working with the Highways England, Network Rail, Centro the LEPs, and will build upon the existing strength of the City's transport network and the opportunities created through growth.

3.31 The redevelopment of New Street Station will be a major - and symbolic - step in improving the profile and quality of infrastructure3.31 The redevelopment of New Street Station will be a major - and symbolic - step in improving the profile and quality of infrastructure in the City. This development will be accompanied by a programme of further investment in public transport, including improvements to the rail network and extension of rapid transit routes vital to ensuring intra-city connections are efficient and effective. in the City. This development will be accompanied by a programme of further investment in public transport, including improvements to the rail network and extension of rapid transit routes vital to ensuring intra-city connections are efficient and effective.

3.32 Major planned improvements to the City's national and international accessibility will be brought about by the continued expansion of Birmingham Airport. The expected development of the High Speed rail link (HS2) will provide further opportunities to build on this success and enhance the City's connectivity and improve rail capacity.

3.33 The City benefits from a number of transport corridors which provide an essential means of connectivity within the City and3.33 The City benefits from a number of transport corridors which provide an essential means of connectivity within the City and due to this accessibility provide opportunities for more intensive forms of development. These corridors including amongst others the A45 and A38 which will be suitable for a range of developments whilst continuing to provide essential transport functions. due to this accessibility provide opportunities for more intensive forms of development. These corridors including amongst others the A45 and A38 which will be suitable for a range of developments whilst continuing to provide essential transport functions.

3.34 New and improved routes for pedestrians and cycle priority will be promoted connecting the network of centres, residential areas, employment opportunities and the open countryside.

3.35 These investments will help to reduce car dependency and encourage use of public transport and non-motorised forms of transport such as cycling and walking. Those activities which generate a high number of trips will be encouraged to locations which have high levels of accessibility or where the infrastructure can be provided to enable sustainable modes to be promoted.

3.36 State of the art digital networks will be made available throughout the City. This is an essential step3.36 State of the art digital networks will be made available throughout the City. This is an essential step in ensuring that Birmingham can fulfil its potential as a centre of innovation drawing on the strong academic base established in the City's universities. in ensuring that Birmingham can fulfil its potential as a centre of innovation drawing on the strong academic base established in the City's universities.

3.37 The provision of high quality infrastructure will underpin the successful delivery of growth that is sustainable and long term. A range of mechanisms will be utilised to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place covering highways and transport, surface water and flood management, waste, broadband, green infrastructure, libraries, education, sports and leisure, adult care, public health and wellbeing.

Plan 3 The City's Transport Infrastructure

Plan 3 The City’s Transport Infrastructure


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