Hines eyes former Birmingham supermarket site for student flats

A new development of student accommodation is set to be built on a former supermarket site in a south Birmingham suburb.

The old Sainsbury’s plot in Chapel Lane has been earmarked for regeneration after the retailer moved to the new Selly Oak Shopping Park nearby last year.

Property group Hines, the company which kickstarted the stalled development of city centre office block Two Snowhill in 2011, is drawing up plans with its joint venture partner Henderson Park for the site known as the ‘Selly Oak Triangle’.

Details regarding the scale and appearance of the scheme are yet to be released but a planning application is due to be lodged with Birmingham City Council by the end of 2019.

If successful, the development would be operated by Aparto, Hines’ student housing arm which currently manages more than 3,000 beds across 11 sites in the UK and Ireland and 2,500 beds in Europe.

 

Hines said it was confident student accommodation was the right choice for the site’s next chapter despite it being in an area dominated by shops including Battery Retail Park next door.

A statement from Hines said: “As an investor, developer and manager of multiple assets, Hines has explored a number of options and has determined that the location of the site and its surrounding demographics is best suited to a specialist student accommodation scheme.

“The design of the scheme is currently being developed through pre-application discussions with officers of the city council.

“An engagement programme with those living closest to the site is under way and a public consultation is provisionally targeted for November, with submission of the planning application expected before the end of the year.”

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Property consultancy Turley is also working on the project which would be built on land bordered by the A38 Bristol Road and Harborne Lane.

The new complex would have frontages facing onto Bristol Road whereas the older Sainsbury’s only had the rear façade of its supermarket.

It will also include community facilities with Hines calling for ideas from local people about what the most appropriate use should be.

Hines said it hoped a development of this nature would mean fewer students having to live in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in Selly Oak, something which has never been far from the headlines in recent years.

Residents in the area have complained about the growth of HMOs while a city councillor once warned the suburb could turn into a Brazlian favela if the trend continued.

In other incidents, landlords have fallen foul of city council planning regulations after extending HMOs without the correct consent in place.

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