A major city centre regeneration scheme which will see more than a 1,000 homes built on a derelict industrial canal-side site has passed its first planning hurdle.
Outline planning permission has been granted for the transformation of the Icknield Port Loop site near Edgbaston Reservoir - complete with homes, a park, a ten storey hotel, superstore and other facilities.
The 22.5-hectare site is owned by The Canals and Rivers Trust (formerly British Waterways), the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Birmingham City Council.
The site, previously owned by Advantage West Midlands, has been earmarked for development for many years but previous schemes stalled as a result of the recession.
Assistant director of development Waheed Nazir hailed the decision as a major step forward for Birmingham.
He said: "This will increase the offer of quality city living accommodation in Birmingham. This is an important site for the city centre."
Although winning the unanimous backing of the council's planning committee there remain some reservations over the density and design of housing which will be picked up at the detailed planning stage.
There was also support for several changes to plans seen earlier this year, including the addition of canalside paths to prevent the 'canyonisation' effect of tall apartment blocks lining the water's edge.
Coun Barry Henley (Lab, Brandwood) said: "We all welcome this scheme. It will provide 1,115 houses which are definitely needed.
"There are a number of significant changes to the plans we saw before, some are good and some are bad."
He welcomed the inclusion of towpaths on at least one side of the canal. "It means that people can stroll along one side, and that some apartments may still have balconies with space to moor a yacht alongside. I am told these things exist."
But he was critical of the density of housing, wondering if 120 dwellings per hectare in some parts of the estate will be popular enough for people to want to live in them.
And he was unhappy with a road cutting through the public park at the centre of the estate and asked developers to reconsider.