Birmingham City Council’s likely decision to return two premium greenfield employment sites to the Green Belt following consultations on the final modifications to the Unitary Development Plan (UDP), could create employment land development difficulties for the city.
The warning comes from property consultant NAI Fuller Peiser, whose planning partner David Green says: “The council has been forced into this situation following the outcome of the UDP inquiry held in 2002. Although the UDP still allocates 90 acres at Minworth Sewage Works, it does leave a significant gap in the industrial land ‘offer’ that Birmingham can provide in the long term.”
The two sites being removed are the 140-acre Peddimore major investment site earmarked for inward investment for a single large occupier, and Bassetts Pole, the 125-acre premium employment site.
Green says: “The closure of MG Rover will to some extent increase available employment land in the city but the Longbridge site offers a different type of opportunity and will not necessarily replace the premium greenfield sites.”
Tim Suffield, head of NAI Fuller Peiser’s Birmingham office, says: “We have been saying for some time that there is a shortage of good quality employment land, and this will do nothing to help the situation. This likely decision will inevitably push land prices up on those sites which can be developed, which in turn must lead to an increase in rents/capital values.