Big City Plan to boom Birmingham out of bust

September 29th 2010 saw the re-launch of the Big City Plan following a two year gap from it's original launch, Big City Plan consultation - a success?. The previous plan, the brainchild of former City Council regeneration boss Clive Dutton and based on a visioning study by Professor Michael Parkinson became a victim of the recession and was also criticised for being too vague,

The updated plan has transformed the vision document of the first Big City Plan into a more practical approach and framework for it's aim of creating 50,000 new jobs, expanding the city core by 25%, 1.5 million sq metres of new office, retail, leisure and cultural floorspace and 5000 new homes.

Gary Cardin, Head of Drivers Jonas Deloitte’s Birmingham office, said: ““A lot of hard work has been put into this, turning what was a strategic document into a plan-style that the development industry will understand.
“All credit to the Big City Plan Team for concentrating more about creating development vehicles. The document is now much less about big words and fluffy ideas, more about how are we going to engage: a clear vision for developing.”

The plan divides the city into five areas:

New Street Station
Snow Hill District
Southern Gateway

A specific masterplan is to be created for Eastside, which will be the site for the terminus of the new High Speed Rail link to London, as the High Speed rail plans have affected the existing planning for the area, while a masterplan may be developed later to look at the Snow Hill District and central office core but masterplans and planning guidance is likely to be developed for all these areas as part of the ambitions of the masterplan.

The southern gateway is also likely to see masterplanning as it includes the 21 acre Wholesale Market site which is crucial to the redevelopment of the southern gateway site,

A few images from the document are shown below showing the five areas the city has been divided into.

Comments can be made using,, the consultation portal or by emailing

Since the launch, recognising the crucial importance of transport to the Big City Plan, a complimentary document, Vision for Movement – the future for transport in the City Centre,, has been produced considering an integrated vision for transport in the city combining rail, metro, rapid transit, cycling and walking. This document outlines key aims such as Birmingham Sprint, a network of routes served by rapid transit buses that will compliment the metro extension to New Street Station and pave the way for metro route extensions and improvements to the Middleway ring road to encourage traffic to be diverted around the city centre rather than through it unnecessarily.


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