Plans to create a new town with up to 2,000 homes on the former MG Rover site at Longbridge could be delayed for years because of the slump in land and property prices, a developer warned.
The derelict car factory, which ground to a halt after the collapse of the famous marque in 2005, is set for a £750 million transformation which will create 10,000 jobs and mix modern houses with parkland. Initial plans projected it would take at least 15 years to complete the biggest regeneration scheme ever seen in the West Midlands, meaning it could be complete as soon as 2023. But at a public inquiry into the plans yesterday, Jason Tait of landowners St Modwen said progress could be slower.
“There might be some growth in the market in the next 18 months or two years but it’s not clear how it might have an effect on land prices,” he said.“That is a key factor driving this project and we would have to hold on to the land until land prices went up. That would obviously have a dramatic effect on our ability to deliver units until later in the process.”
Blueprints mapping out architects’ visions for a futuristic village centre on the banks of two rivers, landscaped parks and an £84 million college were unveiled earlier in May, three years after MG Rover went bust with the loss of 6,000 manufacturing jobs.