Long­bridge cin­ema plan axed in favour of store

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

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’

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