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Former Powergen site regeneration set for go ahead

Solihull planning chiefs expected to green light the demolition of Madin's vacant office block - bringing to an end 20-year wait for redevelopment

The former Powergen site in Shirley
After standing idle for two decades, work could start very soon on the Powergen building

A £75 million redevelopment of the former Powergen building in Solihull is set to receive the green light this week.

The plan will finally signal the end for John Madin's office block in Shirley, two decades after it was vacated by staff at the power utility.

Joint venture partnership Shirley Advance, which is behind the nearby Parkgate retail development, is planning to build a 261-unit ExtraCare retirement village.

There would also be an Asda petrol station and convenience store and 113 new houses by Lioncourt Homes, comprising 57 two-bedroom apartments and 56 houses ranging from two to four bedrooms.

The ExtraCare village is expected to generate 20 full-time jobs, up to 22 part-time jobs and further franchise opportunities within the complex.

John Madin buildings set for change

Under the scheme, all of the existing buildings on the ten-acre site would be demolished including the old Powergen tower and the redundant multi-storey car park.

Like several of Madin's buildings, including Central Library and the NatWest Tower in Birmingham city centre, the Powergen block has become surplus to requirements.

And last summer, Solihull MP Julian Knight felt urged to wade into a row after campaigners launched a petition to have the building spared the wrecking ball.

The project will be discussed at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council's planning committee meeting on Wednesday.

CGI of Shirley Advance's plans for the former Powergen site in Shirley
CGI of Shirley Advance's plans for the former Powergen site in Shirley

A report by council officers backing the development said: "There is an increasing need to provide more accommodation for older persons and, in particular, for the very dependent.

"This proposal would result in a significant new housing development for Solihull which would help meet the housing and care needs of local older people in the borough."

The first new homes are due to be ready by the end of 2016, the remainder during 2018 and the ExtraCare retirement village completed in mid-2019.

Shirley Advance is a JV between London-based funder Helical Bar and Birmingham-based Coltham Developments.

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