Industrial War Ends

An extended supermarket war for a former industrial site in Birmingham could now be turned into housing.

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A new plan to build 101 houses on the former Arvin Meritor site, in Stirchley has been proposed, bringing an end to a prolonged dispute that has spanned over a decade to open a supermarket in the city outskirts.

In the summer of 2011, Asda submitted plans to open a supermarket on the derelict land in Fordhouse Lane but was opposed by Tesco which said that they already had plans for a nearby store in Hazelwell Lane that should take priority.

The Asda proposal was eventually rejected by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee a year later. They appealed but this was also dismissed in summer 2013.

Now, Revelan Group, which possesses the former Arvin Meritor site, have submitted applications for residential development of the site, which was known as Lifford Park.

Coun Tim Huxtable (Con Bournville) said: “I very much support economic regeneration of the Arvin Meritor site but ideally I would like to have seen an application for it to be a business park for high-skilled technology jobs or life sciences to create employment.

“I understand demand for the new life sciences park in Selly Oak is so high that they were looking at Stirchley to see if it could be used as an alternative to act as an overspill.

“Because of local transport links, the site had been deemed suitable for that kind of use – it ticks many boxes.

“But I would always rather it be used for residential purposes, which will create jobs in the construction phase, than nothing at all.”

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