Longbridge cinema plan axed in favour of store
PLANS to build a new ninescreen cinema, gym and six restaurants in south Birmingham have been scrapped in favour of a new supermarket.
St Modwen has revised its plans for phase three of its £1 billion regeneration of Longbridge town centre which initially received the green light last year.
Cinema chain The Light and budget fitness operator The Gym had been lined up for the site but the regeneration group said market conditions meant it had not been possible to carry out this project.
St Modwen has now lodged new plans with Birmingham City Council to turn an acre of land into a 33,000 sq ft discount food store and parking next to Austin Avenue and Austin Park. Although no occupier of the proposed unit is named in the planning application, whichever retailer takes the space will go head to head with neighbouring Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer.
St Modwen said the new shop would offer an “appropriate alternative” to the other stores.
A report accompanying the application said: “As the development has evolved, it has been necessary to reevaluate the specific use of some of the plots and how they should best relate to the new town centre.
“This process has, when set against the ever-changing market conditions, sug- gested that some plots should be developed in relation to the most appropriate use for the period in which development will take place. The new town centre’s third phase site has, in relation to the most recent iterations of the town centre masterplan, been suggested for leisure or retail uses. The application site envisages a discount food retail use which will provide an appropriately alternative ‘offer’ to both the Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer stores.”
St Modwen’s regeneration of Longbridge following the collapse of MG Rover in 2005 includes a new Bournville College, housing, a Premier Inn hotel and accommodation for Royal Centre for Defence Medicine staff.
> The original plans for the cinema, restaurants and gym at Longbridge have now been scrapped because of ‘ever-changing market conditions’