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Student block bulldozed to make way for £2.5m social housing development

A former home for overseas students in Birmingham is being demolished to make way for a proposed £2.5m development of social housing.

Housing association Bournville Village Trust took possession of the three-storey Gemeindehaus block in Selly Oak in August when the lease was acquired.

Previously a student accommodation block, the building on College Walk, off Bristol Road South, was also a place of worship for a German Lutheran congregation.

The Trust, a charity founded by chocolate-maker George Cadbury, is hoping to get the green light to build 16 new high-quality family homes for rent on the 0.43 hectares site.

Homes will be a mix of terraced and semi-detached properties, designed by architect Stride Treglown, with front and rear gardens and space for vegetable plots.

Peter Roach, Chief Executive of Bournville Village Trust, said: “While plans are in the early stages, this is a potentially exciting development that will bring much-needed affordable family housing into the area.

“The plan is for 16 two-bedroom homes, which are in shortage on the Bournville estate, with well landscaped areas in keeping with our garden village principles, pioneered by our founder George Cadbury.

“This development if approved, combined with the homes we will acquire at Crest Nicholson’s 138-home development also on Bristol Road South, will contribute to the huge demand for affordable housing in the area.”

Richard Ellis, Associate Architect at Stride Treglown, said: “We are delighted to be working with Bournville Village Trust to provide much needed family homes on a previously under-utilised part of the estate.

“The houses draw on the heritage of the estate and use traditional materials in a contemporary manner to deliver light, airy and flexible homes that will meet the needs of residents in the 21st century.”

Main building work is anticipated to start on the site in spring 2018 subject to planning consent being secured from the City Council.

It is hoped that the development will go some way to contributing to the estimated 80,000 new homes that need to be built over the next 14 years to meet Birmingham’s housing demand.

Bournville Village Trust is also working with Crest Nicholson on its 138-home development, which was once home to Northfield Manor House. The House was the residence of George Cadbury, and his wife Elizabeth, until the latter’s death in 1951.

The Trust will acquire and manage 20 homes on the development, which will be a mix of rented and shared ownership properties, from spring next year.

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