Birmingham City Council's planning committee has approved the masterplan for The Hub.
Contractors are gearing up to start the early stages of regeneration on the largest industrial development site in the Midlands now that planners have rubber-stamped the masterplan.
Their approval means that clearance work can go ahead at The Hub, Birmingham, so that construction of the first pre-let unit - an 85,000 sq ft building for IMI Components - can begin in the autumn.
It's reckoned that regenerating the sprawling 95 acre site that was once the home of industrial giant IMI and more recently known as Lion Park will boost the economy and create jobs.
It was also achieve a dramatic transformation. In giving their approval, members of Birmingham City Council's planning committee praised the masterplan for the quality of its proposed landscaping and the way it will green an industrial area.
Their decision is welcomed by the landowner, Prudential, and by Frontier Estates and Opus Land who, in partnership as Fropus, are joint developers of the #150 million scheme.
James Howarth, of Fropus, says: "Quite often this process can take a great deal of time - particularly with such an enormous site as The Hub. But, from the start, and working with our professional team led by architects Burks Green, along with landscape architects, Barry Chinn Associates, we developed a strategy that involved liasing closely with the city council to smooth the way."
His enthusiasm is shared by Prudential investment director Martin Taylor, who says: "From the start, the city council has recognised the key role The Hub would play in taking Birmingham forward in terms of transforming the area through the process of regeneration, greening the environment, and creating job opportunities.
"As the landowners, we take great pride in our role in this major new development.
"It is an exciting project and we are looking forward to getting on site to begin the essential preparation work before construction can begin on phase one."
The masterplan covers the four phases of construction, along with details of a new internal road system, walkways, cycleways, and extensive landscaping that will improve both the working and local environment.
Coun Renee Spector, chair of the council development control committee, sums up the potential gains for business and the wider community by saying: "This is good news for employment prospects in the Aston area and will boost the local economy. The old IMI site is of great importance to Birmingham and the region.
"In approving the masterplan and the details of landscaping, we will ensure a prestigious development takes place which will attract new national and international companies to Birmingham."
Richard Smith, of Fropus, adds: "The Hub is an important long-term development - taking around five years to complete ? and it makes sense to establish a good relationship from the start. After all, we are both aiming for the same goal."
Outline planning permission was granted to previous owners IMI and since the purchase deal was struck late in 2002, the development team has been working on the masterplan.