Mooring up to Port - Icknield Port Loop Development

It has been reported that the Icknield Port Loop Development has received Outline Planning Approval;,, .  The 22.5 hectare site located near to Edgbaston Reservoir, between Edgbaston and Ladywood, is dominated by vacant industrial premises and sits on the canal loop coming off the Birmingham Level Main Line canal.

The Icknield Port Loop area has been an edge of city location since the end of the 19th Century. By the turn of the Century a dense working class neighbourhood had grown to the south east and Monument Road had developed as a major high street, yet to the east of the reservoir and within the loop itself the land was undeveloped. The loop and indeed the port dates from 1769 when James Brindley completed his canal to Wolverhampton linking Birmingham to the canal network and accelerating the industrial revolution in the city. The canal followed the 450 degree contour and wildly. In 1827, Thomas Telford opened the mainline canal, 18 metres wide and with a towpath on either side, and the loop became something of a backwater. The canal depot was opened in 1829. The reservoir was built to serve the mainline canal and was created from the fish pool of the estate of John Perrott. The reservoir was advertised during the war as an alternative to the visiting the seaside. The land within the loop remained undeveloped until the early 19th century when it was built up with factories. The Corporation also opened a salvage depot which opened in 1932 which included the stables block that is proposed for retention. The facilities around Monument Road area, now part of Ladywood Middleway, including Ladywood Swimming Baths closed in 1990’s. The areas of dense terraced housing were replaced by a series of Council estates
Site Visit Report

The Outline Approval would see new housing as well as a new hotel, pub, supermarket and community centre move closer.  The mix of housing densities should see an interesting mix of new housing and housing styles and offers an exciting opportunity for a new village centre only 10 minutes walk from the NIA.

Photos showing the site from Spring Hill tower blocks and the railway line which passes the site.

The application for the Icknield Port Loop site, near Edgbaston Reservoir, was submitted by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Canals and Rivers Trust (formerly British Waterways), which are joint landowners along with Birmingham City Council.

Outline planning application for demolition of buildings and a mixed use redevelopment of up to 1150 dwellings, retail, service, employment, leisure and non-residential institutions uses (Use Class C3, B1, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, D1 & D2) of up to 6960 square metres (gross internal area) (including up to 2500 square metres of retail) (gross internal area) together with hotel and community facilitiesopen space, landscapingand associated works including roads, cycleways, footpaths, car parking and canal crossings. Change of use of industrial buildings fronting Rotton Park Street to leisure, retail and non-residential institutions (Use Class A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, D1 & D2)

The development site received £500,000 funding from the Growing Places Fund, the development having stalled in the 2008 economic downturn, alongside 7 other Midlands projects, with the site having been on the agenda for development for nearly ten years, since 2004,  The site was lauded as the largest redevelopment site in Birmingham in the 2005 Development Plan with it's own development framework (see image below).  The Growing Place Funding comes from a successful bid by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) for money from the Initiative aimed at supporting infrastructure for projects supporting homes, jobs and growth.

There had been previous development proposed for the site, including a scheme by Glenn Howells Architects back in 2007. URBED acknowledged their scheme differed from previous iterations with more of a focus on family housing and open space.

Work is set to begin in 2014 following the appointment of a development partner; In May 2012 it was reported IKEA in talks over Birmingham's Icknield Port.   The property development arm of the retailer, LandProp, was reported to be in advanced negotiations with potential involvement in the Greater Icknield Port area.  The Greater Icknield Port Area follows on from previous designs for the greater area under a title of Ladyport offering 80 hectares of land for housing, job creation and infrastructure to support this.

The latest images from the outline planning application follow earlier masterplanning by Glenn Howells.

Indicative images.

Glenn Howells Masterplanning, reproduced from

Example images of prospective housing styles.

Images from the Outline Planning Application


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