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St. Modwen and Persimmon Homes have been granted permission to develop 229 homes in the first phase of residential development on the former 55 acre Longbridge East works, located off Groveley Lane in Cofton Hackett, Worcestershire.

Bromsgrove District Council yesterday also approved an additional application from St. Modwen for the overall site which proposes up to 725 new dwellings, with future plans for a new 45,000 sq ft community centre.

The 229 dwellings will be delivered by Persimmon Homes and will offer a mix of two, three and four bedroom homes including 36 affordable homes. A children’s play area and park will be created and part of the River Arrow, which has been in culvert since the 1930s, will be opened up.

St. Modwen will also contribute £500,000 towards primary school education in the area and provide public space management. Proposals for traffic calming measures will also now be promoted on Groveley Lane.

Richard Hickman, planning manager for St. Modwen, said: “The former Longbridge East Works provides an excellent opportunity to deliver a new development which will integrate with the established community at Cofton Hackett through a mix of family homes. 

“The Longbridge Area Action Plan identified the Longbridge East site primarily for new housing, and feedback gathered at a public consultation event showed that local people were supportive of the plans.”

St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, and Persimmon Homes, one of the UK’s leading house builders, have created a joint venture to initially develop 2,000 homes on seven sites owned by St. Modwen across the UK, one of which includes Longbridge East.

David McGing, land director for Persimmon Homes South Midlands said: “Cofton Hackett is a highly desirable area and our plans for the first phase of development will provide good quality family homes to suit both people living close by and also those looking to move to the area from further afield.  The opened up River Arrow and new park with play area will create a natural focus to the development to be enjoyed by all the residents.”

While the main access to the Longbridge East development will be from Groveley Road, it is proposed that 26 of the dwellings will be accessed from Parsonage Drive. New footpath and cycle linkages will be provided within and through the site.

Currently under construction, the opening of Longbridge town centre will bring investment at the former MG Rover site up to £250 million since it was acquired by St. Modwen in 2003. This investment has already created 1,160 permanent jobs through the development of the Technology Park, Cofton Centre and the £66 million new Bournville College, which opened in September 2011. The first 113 new homes are already being delivered at Longbridge in partnership with the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Last month St. Modwen also handed over the £5 million The Factory youth centre to Birmingham City Council.

The regeneration of Longbridge is a £1 billion project covering 468 acres. It aspires to create 10,000 jobs through a diverse range of industries, together with 2,000 new homes, the new town centre, parks and public open spaces.