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Digbeth: Developers Gamble On Its Cool Potential

SevenCapital’s £200M Connaught Square development in Birmingham has just today been approved — following years of planning.

At last, we have a winner. The Battle of Digbeth, raging on and off for 11 years, has ended with a victory for SevenCapital's plans to build their £200M Connaught Square residential scheme, one of Birmingham's largest.

The 770-unit scheme will anchor Birmingham’s Creative Quarter in Digbeth.

There will be a 42K SF commercial element, and a 27-storey tower.

Councillors overcame their concerns about the scheme, voiced at meetings earlier this month, to back Birmingham City Council officials in approving it.

“Digbeth has recently been listed as one of the coolest places to live by The Times, but through Connaught Square and the wider future regeneration works currently in planning or construction within the area, we want to make sure that it goes beyond cool, to become one of the best places in the UK," SevenCapital Director Damien Silver said.

“We’ve been working tirelessly over the past few years to design a scheme that will enhance the city and create a new destination where people will want to live, work and spend their leisure time, and what we have now, we believe will deliver that.”

Work on-site is expected to begin in summer 2019 with the first phase expected to complete in March 2022, with hopes for the whole site to be completed by August 2023.

Going up....

The SevenCapital win comes as the UK BTR sector steps up a gear in an increasingly diverse Birmingham city residential scene.

BTR sector is still in its infancy in the UK. There are more private rented sector apartments in Dallas than in the whole of the UK.

Research published by the British Property Federation shows that the total number of build-to-rent homes under construction across the UK has increased rapidly in the last year, however the total is still a tiny 139,508.

The data, compiled by Savills, show the number of build-to-rent homes complete, under construction and in planning across the UK has increased by 22% over the last year. The number of homes completed and in planning have also increased by 29% and 10%, respectively. Developments in the regions continue to be given the green light at a faster pace than in London.

Included in the total figures for 'in planning', the research has tracked the capacity of strategic sites across the country identified for build-to-rent. A total of 22,642 homes have been earmarked by local authorities and developers for delivery on these sites.