The wraps are lifted today on a £500 million transformation of the former MG Rover site at Longbridge into a "new town in Birmingham".
In what is being described as one of the biggest regeneration projects in the UK, three councils have published proposals to n Build 1,500 houses n Create 10,000 jobs through a hi-tech manufacturing and research park n Build a new shopping centre, with parkland and improved public transport services.
Birmingham City Council, Worcestershire County Council and Bromsgrove Council say the scheme, which is likely to take 15 years to complete, will set the standard for sustainable development and will breathe new life into Longbridge, an area of high unemployment.
Neville Summerfield, the Birmingham cabinet member for regeneration, admitted: "This is, in fact, building a brand new town in Birmingham."
With a value in excess of half a billion pounds, the project will be delivered almost wholly through the public sector via the main landowners, St Modwen Properties.
But the plan was criticised by Northfield Conservative councillor Reg Corns, who accused the council of back-tracking on a pledge to use all of the former MG Rover site for industrial and hi-tech employment.
Coun Corns pointed out that only 2,932 of the planned jobs will be industrial and 2,759 hi-tech. The remainder will be retail, office-based, distribution and warehousing.
He added: "Some of the new jobs will simply be transferred from other parts of Birmingham. The ordinary man in the street in Northfield finds it very difficult to understand where these 10,000 jobs are going to come from.
"There is nothing that gives me any confidence in what is happening at Longbridge."
The Longbridge Area Action Plan was drawn up following the collapse of MG Rover in 2005 and its main recommendations are the result of a consultation exercise involving 25,000 local people.
The Rivers Rea and Arrow, currently culverted, will be opened up and Cofton Park improved with a network of cycle-ways as part of a commitment to recreational areas.
Describing the proposed development as an "exciting urban eco centre", Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby promised the scheme would re-invigorate Longbridge's industrial heritage and play an important role in cementing the area's status as the engine room of the Midland economy.
He stressed that the part of the former car works owned by Nanjing Automotive would be retained for car manufacturing, but with a recommendation that should any of the land become surplus it be made available for other employment uses.
Coun Whitby (Con Harborne) added: "By developing not just homes, but wider communities around them, Longbridge will be at the forefront of the Midlands' drive to not only meet the Government's housing growth targets, but exceed them.
"Our aim is to create the most sustainable urban eco-centre in the country."
Roger Hollingworth, the leader of Bromsgrove Council, said: "Straddling both Birmingham and Bromsgrove, this site has always played a key strategic role in the fortunes of both areas and I am delighted that we have been able to work together so effectively to develop these ambitious plans, and look forward to continuing this partnership into the future to make our vision a reality."
A briefing note released by the councils states that the housing will be built to the highest standards of sustainable design.
The note adds: "The aim is to deliver a mixed-use employment-driven development with sustainable jobs in new technology-based businesses, a high quality built environment, a leading edge approach to creating a mixed use local centre, well designed open spaces and river corridors and to break new ground in helping Birmingham prepare for climate change."
Clive Dutton, Birmingham City Council director of regeneration, said: "It is our intention that local people should benefit, not only from the new jobs, but also by the construction and sub-contracting jobs that will be created over the next few years."