Council aims to create eco-centre

As many as 10,000 new jobs, 1,400 new homes and a new shopping centre are to be created under a new 15-year regeneration scheme for the Longbridge area.

Longbridge has long-been associated with the troubled British car manufacturing industry, as the home of the MG Rover plant which was forced to close before its takeover by the Chinese state-owned company Nanjing Automobile.

However, under the new plans, 140 hectares of the former industrial area are set to see "dramatic improvements" to business, housing and transport infrastructure, according to Birmingham city council, which is working with Bromsgrove and Worcestershire councils to see through the project.

Birmingham city council leader Mike Whitby said: "Our aim is to create the most sustainable urban eco-centre in the country?the new community will showcase the highest standards of design and sustainable living to be found anywhere in the UK."

Also in the plans is a new learning quarter that will see Bourneville College relocated, as well as a 25-hectare high-tech business area. Green spaces will also be created, including three new parks, and travelling by car within the development will be discouraged through a park-and-ride scheme.

Mr Whitby added: "By developing not just homes, but wider communities around them, Longbridge will be at the forefront of the midlands' drive to not only meet the government's housing growth targets, but far exceed them."

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