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Why The 350-Acre Arden Cross HS2 Scheme Is Suddenly On The Rails


Suddenly the mighty 350-acre Arden Cross development is racing ahead.

After two years of hopeful talk the scheme, intended to take advantage of the opportunities of the HS2 high speed rail link to Birmingham and Solihull, is taking formal shape with the creation of a fully functioning delivery vehicle.

Birmingham City Council's Cabinet will consider proposals to sell their 99-acre slice of the site into a new joint venture which will manage progress on the project. They own around one-third of the site, which is located in the boundaries of Solihull council.

Pooling assets is the first serious sign of movement on the long-awaited project, which could deliver up to 2.6M SF of commercial floorspace and around 2,000 homes.

The next major step will be the resolve strategic planning issues, a report to Birmingham councillors reveals.

"The Arden Cross site is currently designated as Green Belt in the Solihull Local Plan," the report said. "Solihull Council are currently undertaking a review of the Local Plan which recommends that the Arden Cross properties adjacent and around the HS2 Interchange are taken out of the Green Belt.

"The four landowners are working collaboratively to deliver an alternative design than that initially proposed by HS2, based on the premise that a more efficient layout will enhance development opportunities and create a high quality, viable mixed use location."

Design work is now in progress.

The city council-owned site is the most prominent part of Arden Cross, immediately to the east of the National Exhibition Centre. The scheme was floated at the MIPIM property convention in March 2016.