The River Rea will flow through Birmingham city centre as part of a major new masterplan led by the development of 5,000 new homes.
Called the ‘Rea Valley Urban Quarter’, it is the next phase of the long-running Big City Plan which was originally unveiled fir the city in 2010.
A public consultation was first held on the Rea Valley Urban Quarter last year with more plans now emerging, including the desire to make the river a central feature of the regeneration.
It will be centred around China Town and Digbeth, with plans for five neighbourhoods called High Street Frontage, Cheapside, St David’s Place, Highgate Park and Moseley Road.
High Street Frontage
Facing High Street, it would have a mix of commercial uses at ground floor
A mixed-use area providing city living and proposals to turn Moseley Street into a park link, providing a leafy pedestrian route connecting Smithfield to Highgate Park
St David’s Place
A waterside residential neighbourhood with a diverse mix of housing, centred around the River Rea
A new neighbourhood comprising townhouses and housing for families
High-quality residential accommodation to expand the housing offer in the location
The plans say: “For the first time in over a hundred years, locals and visitors will be able to see and experience the river flowing through their city centre.
“A corridor rich in biodiversity, the green and blue environment will provide sustainable urban drainage and be resilient to climate change.
“It will be busy and attractive, overlooked by a range of active uses such as cafes, shops and bars with residential above.
“New pedestrian walkways and cycleways will promote health and wellbeing.”
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No date has yet been provided as to when the works are expected to start.
Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward added: “As the next phase in the delivery of the Big City Plan, the Rea Valley Urban Quarter will become one of the city’s most exciting and diverse regeneration areas.
“This project will assist the climate change agenda with the River Rea proposals forming a key part of the city’s Route to Zero (R20) transformation.
“The quarter will see a series of mixed-use neighbourhoods created, potentially accommodating over 5,000 new homes and integrating innovative space for businesses, services and leisure to develop and grow.
“Central to the area’s future success will be the delivery of high quality infrastructure including a network of high quality public realm, green spaces and pedestrian routes.
“The centrepiece of this network will be a reimagined River Rea. Running through the heart of the area, the River Rea will be transformed into a green corridor with an environment which is adaptable, resilient and ecologically rich.”