150-Acre Birmingham Megaplan vs. The Gaybourhood
Ambitious plans to rethink a 150-acre slice of central Birmingham should have been a cause for celebration. Instead they are being criticised for threatening one of the city's most distinctive neighbourhoods, the gay village.
Bar owners say that new residential developments will mean a clampdown on licensed premises, putting the commercial future of the gay village at risk.
The Rea valley plans includes 5,000 new homes in a green corridor expanding out from the Birmingham Smithfield development controlled by Lendlease. There will be 12 acres of open space with a multitude of pocket parks and green roofscapes.
A consultation is now underway with the aim of approving a revised special planning document in autumn this year.
This is the latest in a series of run-ins between developers and traders in the gay village. Last year a dispute was narrowly averted after city councillors insisted that Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital, developers of the 379-unit Timber Yard scheme, provide guarantees that popular venues like the Village Inn and the venerable Nightingale Club would not be harmed by noise complaints from their new residential neighbours.