Housebuilder Persimmon has been given the green light to construct more than 100 homes on an inner-city playing field despite protests from residents.
Birmingham City Council's planning committee took the unusual step of granting permission to build on the former M&B playing fields in Edgbaston because the developer has put up almost £2 million for local facilities.
This includes investment of more than £1 million in a state-of-the-art rugby centre nearby on the disused former Avery recreation ground off Sandon Road - also given planning permission alongside the 116 houses.
The sports centre development, backed by the Rugby Football Union and Sport England, includes a two all-weather rugby pitches, a third general pitch and a pavilion.
Committee members were keen to see the sport promoted to build on Birmingham's success last year as a Rugby World Cup host city.
Coun Peter Griffiths, who is a former international athlete, welcomed the investment in sport.
"This is a great opportunity to tackle youth obesity," he said.
His colleague Keith Linnecor (Lab Oscott) however had some concerns over the artificial turf and its impact on drainage in the light of recent floods.
"Artificial pitches have a place but we should also be encouraging people to use grass and get their knees dirty occasionally," he said.
Residents had also raised objections over potential noise nuisance, parking problems, light pollution and impact on wildlife from the rugby centre scheme.
The housing development in City Road was backed, partly because of the investment in the rugby site, but also because the committee was told that pitches had not been formally used since 2007.
Coun Peter Douglas Osborn (Con Weoley) said: "There is a necessity for more housing in this area and that outweighs the other side."
As well as building 116 homes, of which 18 will be available at the affordable below market rate, Persimmon is paying £1.05 million towards the rugby facility, £445,000 towards sporting facilities and £295,000 towards environmental improvements at nearby Summerfield Park and Edgbaston Reservoir.
There is also provision of £248,000 to fund expansion of school places in the area.