A new property arm of an Australian banking giant has acquired a controversial development site in Birmingham set to house hundreds of new apartments.
Goodstone Living has bought the former Sulzer factory site at 193 Camp Hill, in Digbeth, for an undisclosed fee where planning consent is in place for a £130 million mixed-use project.
The company was launched in June by Macquarie, one-time owner of the M6 Toll motorway, and is focussed on acquiring, developing and operating UK build-to-rent projects, with the Digbeth scheme its first.
In March, the site’s previous owner Eutopia Homes won an appeal to regenerate the four-acre plot after Birmingham City Council had previously rejected its plans.
It was set to comprise 480 apartments and houses for both rent and sale, a 167-bedroom hotel, public realm and 16,000 sq ft of commercial space, built across seven blocks ranging from three to 26 storeys.
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Goodstone Living says it now wants to submit revised plans to deliver more than 500 homes and central Birmingham’s largest private garden as part of a new neighbourhood to be called Camp Hill Gardens.
Discounted commercial and retail accommodation aimed at local businesses will also be provided alongside more than 22,000 sq ft of onsite amenity space for residents including a gym, co-working areas and rooftop terraces.
Eutopia Homes’ original application had garnered a significant amount of opposition, including from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and regional transport groups, amid concerns it could jeopardise the proposed Bordesley Chords rail project.
The scheme will enable new rail viaducts to be built in Digbeth and take more services into Moor Street station from the east and south of Birmingham, including from three new stations under construction in Kings Heath, Moseley and Hazelwell on the Camp Hill line.
The application site was occupied for more than 100 years by Swiss coil manufacturer Sulzer but it has relocated to a new UK head office and maintenance facility on Birmingham Business Park, in Solihull.
Martin Bellinger, principal at Goodstone Living, said: “Our strategy is focused on long-term value creation and this requires us to be able to identify significant regeneration opportunities where demographics and cultural shifts are occurring to transform areas in need of new housing.
“As the UK’s second largest city by population, Birmingham benefits from a large and growing pool of potential residents demanding high-quality, purpose-built and professionally managed rental accommodation.
“This makes Birmingham the perfect place for our first development project and we look forward to transforming Camp Hill Gardens into a vibrant residential community while also celebrating Digbeth’s rich industrial heritage.”
Scott Hammond, founder and chief executive of Eutopia Homes, added: “We are delighted that Goodstone Living has backed our vision for Digbeth, a key growth area within Birmingham.
“Goodstone’s vision will help forge an exciting new community that offers a different type of rental proposition for a fast-growing, young market.
“While we have seen significant investment in the area since we acquired the site in 2018, we believe that the future regeneration prospects for Digbeth are second to none.”