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150-Acre Birmingham Megaplan vs. The Gaybourhood

Birmingham river rea
River Rea Urban Quarter, as it might look

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 owners of the Eden Bar, Sherlock Street, are appealing for help from the LGBT community to oppose the Southside plans, Birmingham Live reports.

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.

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.