Blythe Valley Park
Blythe Valley Park (BVP) is the West Midlands’ premier office location strategically positioned at the heart of the UK motorway network. The Park has excellent national and global connectivity due to its proximity to Birmingham International rail station and airport.
Set in over 250 acres, including a 90 acre Country Park, BVP is renowned for its beautiful and high quality environment and has a superb network of green spaces, pathways, water courses and ponds.
A new future
BVP was master planned as a campus-style office park in the 1990s. It has attracted many high profile, world class businesses, and all office buildings have been designed and built to a very high quality.
Following extensive public consultation and examination, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) allocated the site for mixed use development in its Local Plan which was adopted in 2013. This was a response to changing market conditions, and is a clear recognition for the range of acceptable uses for the Park.
The information on this website
This website has been created by the new owners of the Park, IM Properties, to inform local people, occupiers and other interest groups about the emerging plans for Blythe Valley Park.
These emerging plans are being put forward in the form of a Development Framework document and we would like your feedback on our broad design principles.
We are anticipating preparing an outline planning application soon, and will advertise details of formal consultation on planning applications on this website nearer the time.
In the meantime, we hope you find the information here helpful in clarifying current thinking with regards to the future of the Park.
Guiding future development
IM Properties acquired BVP in December 2014 and is currently working with Solihull Council to establish the best way of designing and building the proposed mixed use development. We want to ensure that the next phases of development will help secure a sustainable long term future for the site.
With this is mind we have committed to the preparation of a Development Framework document. We have involved key stakeholders in this process and will articulate key principles shared by IM Properties and the Council, providing a greater level of certainty over how mixed use development could come forward at BVP.
The Development Framework will mark the start of a more detailed planning process. It will have no formal planning status but both IM Properties and the Council will commit to it and use it as a means of guiding and encouraging ongoing investment within the site.
The site also falls within the boundary for the Cheswick Green Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan, and IMP hope that the work which goes into the Development Framework can be used by the Parish to help inform their work in preparing the Plan”.
What will the Development Framework do?
The Development Framework document will capture aspirations and key design principles that express the potential for mixed use development as anticipated by the adopted Local Plan.
The Development Framework considers the area currently allocated for mixed use development in the Local Plan which includes both the existing commercial stock and infrastructure as well as the undeveloped land.
Blythe Valley Park Vision
Future development and change will be driven by ambitious objectives shared by IMP and SMBC.
The goal is to create a vibrant, sustainable and genuinely mixed use built environment that is fully integrated with and complements its surroundings.
Placemaking is a key objective of the development plan. Some of our placemaking concepts include:
Our vision is bold, credible and deliverable.
The picture above illustrates how different phases of the development can link together.
The phase 1 development area has established the sense of ‘working in the park’, combining the best of location and design quality.
The opportunity is to deliver something special within the phase 2 land – not something isolated from Phase 1, but something that engages with it, evolves it, enhances it.
The area of overlap can be thought of as a blended core to integrate the two phases – an area of transition and an area that binds and brings people together.
Three broad character areas have been used to describe further guidance on the nature, scale and grain of future development.
- Area 1 – The Blended Core
- Area 2 – Business Boulevard
- Area 3 –Valley Park Living
The picture below illustrates how the vision could be realised in line with our aspirations, guiding principles and design concepts.
The Development Framework is being produced following a series of workshop meetings between IM Properties and SMBC. Through this process some key principles to guide development at BVP have emerged;
Landscape, natural environment and open space
- New development should be shaped by the existing natural and semi-natural environment, maintaining perceptions of openness; it should protect and enhance the Park where possible.
- Existing environmental assets such as the river valley and tree groups should be used to structure, characterise and link development. This includes existing environment that surrounds BVP and the green spaces and corridors that run through it.
Urban structure, built form and land use
- Mixed use development should help to create a finer grain of streets and spaces compared to the current, large scale plots, buildings and infrastructure.
- The key routes to the residential and new streets and spaces are changed to a more human scale to help it become an attractive place to live.
- There will be a diverse range of uses and facilities that bring the area to life and make it accessible to the wider community.
Accessibility and connectivity
- Establish convenient links that complement the existing road network and include good pedestrian and cycle connections.
- New employment development should continue to make BVP competitive, but at the same time it should complement the wider business offer of Solihull.
- Create a clear and flexible plan for development that maximises market interest, but at the same time creates a cohesive place.
We are now working on preparing a series of plans that will express these principles, and which will be explained in the supporting text. Taken together, these will form the “Development Framework”.
Have your say – Next Steps
IM Properties intend to submit an outline planning application(s) for mixed use development at BVP. The outline planning application(s) will be informed by design principles and concepts set out in the Development Framework, and will confirm the quantum and mix of land uses as well as details of access, indicative layout, design and landscaping.
At the current time we anticipate that an outline planning application(s) will be submitted in Autumn 2015.
The likely timescales for an Autumn planning application would mean a public consultation being undertaken shortly after the Summer holidays. At that stage we would be able to show draft plans and discuss the proposals with local residents, occupiers and stakeholders.
The Council would also advertise the planning application(s) once submitted, and would exercise their usual statutory duty to consult and enable comment.
We would like your comments
Please provide us with any general comments which you would like us to take into account when preparing the Development Framework. Please do let us know via the comments box below. Further details about the consultation events which will take place later in 2015 will be available on this website and in local press during the summer.
The Development Framework and outline masterplan are currently in draft form. Now is the time to input your views and give us your feedback on the proposals. We have provided a few simple questions below as well as space for more detailed comments.
The questions we would like your feedback on are:
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR TIME AND INTEREST IN THIS PROJECT, AND FOR HELPING US TO PLAN THE FUTURE OF BVP EFFECTIVELY.
WE DO VALUE YOUR FEEDBACK AND WILL USE ANY COMMENTS SUBMITTED TO HELP INFORM OUR PLANS.