Druids Heath is a mainly residential area in South Birmingham developed in the 1960s and largely untouched since. Birmingham City Council are working with the community to regenerate the area through a bold and ambitious plan created and shaped together with local people.
The regeneration aims to provide new, sustainable, mixed tenure homes and state-of-the-art community amenities including a village centre and improvements to the natural environment, a 4G sports pitch and parks, cycle routes and improved connectivity. The regeneration will be holistic with spaces for community entrepreneurial start-ups as well as access to alternative education, training and employment opportunities.
The regeneration is complex and will be designed and built in phases. This website follows the journey from understanding the area and listening to residents to creating the design concepts that reflect the vision for Druids Heath. This vision will be used to formulate a masterplan and outline planning application to create the structure for the future design of the estate.
Together we will create holistic regeneration which will be key to transforming Druids Heath, bringing real and lasting social and economic change for communities.
If you want to be kept up to date with Druids Heath regeneration or get involved, sign up to receive our monthly Ebulletin and/or come along to our drop in session and watch out for future news and events events.
In December 2021 the Council’s Cabinet, the leader of the council and councillors they chose to lead on specific policy areas, approved a report on Druids Heath regeneration that said regeneration should be more than previous ideas to build only new homes after rehousing people and demolishing tower blocks. The Cabinet Report explained that a masterplan should be created for the whole area where we think about how lots of things work together; housing, green spaces, community facilities, getting about, jobs, shops and look at these based on residents’ priorities.
The report followed work that has taken place from 2018 to understand the area and residents’ priorities and approves the activities and work the council will need to do to prepare options to deliver a holistic regeneration to create a sustainable place that includes housing, community, economic, social and sustainable opportunities.
It includes additional documents in appendices with how the council will deliver the project in stages and the council priorities it would seek to meet.
The project stages are:
- Consultation through Pioneer Group with a wider group of residents.
- Development of a wider masterplan with residents and City Council departments ensuring the best use of assets.
- Production of the Full Business Case.
- Selection of preferred regeneration approach and Cabinet Approval.
The Council will work with experienced resident engagement organisation The Pioneer Group to engage residents in producing a masterplan which will then be assessed to ensure it is viable and how the regeneration should be delivered. Summaries of the resident engagement phases currently completed can be downloaded here.
The masterplan will set a compelling vision for the future and guide decisions on land use development to bring together houses, parks, green spaces, community facilities, commercial and employment opportunities together. It will bring together the residents of Druids Heath as well as local organisations, service providers and Birmingham City Council to look at how we deliver the future Druids Heath.
As part of the masterplanning process we have been listening to what you want for the estate and here is what you have told us so far. We've taken on board your views to bring to life design priorities including things like natural surveillance for safety and security and pedestrian prioritised streets. We've also been considering what resident's want for elderly housing and housing, with energy efficient homes, pedestrian routes and enhanced green spaces a key feature. As we progress with the masterplanning process, we're still keen to hear what you want from the regeneration, including your views on enhancing the Village Green to improve biodiversity and create usable spaces for the community.
A number of surveys have been carried out across parts of Druids Heath to establish various conditions, these include; a topographical survey (to understand the complex levels across the estate), a tree survey (to assess and appreciate the value of the existing trees), a preliminary ecological appraisal (to identify any key ecological constraints and opportunities for the regeneration), utility searches (to evidence underground utilities including sewers and cables) and ground condition surveys (to investigate the condition of the ground and indicate suitability for development).
Full reports will be available to download with the outline planning submission.
The existing homes across Druids Heath have been reviewed and categorised in to the below types. During discussions at events - as part of ‘The Big Conversation’ - we have asked residents what they like and don’t like about their homes. You can provide further input by ‘liking’ any of the existing homes below or by clicking the ‘share your opinion’ button below.
The Pioneer Group were commissioned by Birmingham City Council as independent resident engagement specialists for two years from September 2021 to September.
The brief was to engage with residents and local groups to capture their views on how the regeneration of Druids Heath can best meet their needs.
In the first few months, the aim of the team was to get familiar with the estate, meet residents and local groups and provide information on the process and timeline of the regeneration.
One of the key outcomes from this work was to improve the quality and timeliness of information being provided on the regeneration and how in particular it was affecting those in the tower blocks requiring to move prior to demolition or those who had already gone through that process as well as information on the master planning, procurement and planning process prior to the new development.
Early in 2022, the Pioneer Engagement Team launched their Big Conversation with the goal of reaching out to as many residents and local groups in every nook and cranny of the estate.
Initially the team used a method called the ‘good life conversation’, which is designed to capture people’s feelings about the place they live in and their lives. The answers provided began to provide some of the ingredients of what would make the regeneration work for residents and those who might live on the estate in the future.
This led to more formal conversations using a 3D model of the existing estate in two family events in the Easter Holidays: Explore the Dell on the 13th April and a Family Open Day on the 23rd April. At these events, the team working with architects BM3 and the City Council’s development team began to explore residents’ views on how the estate could be regenerated through a six themes. These included Homes; Movement; Community; Open Spaces; Shops; Jobs and local economy and Sustainability.
By establishing priorities against each of these themes and building on information from the good life conversations; the team began to establish an emerging residents’ vision that tied together how each of themes could work together to bring about regeneration that residents have had a real say in.
From the good life conversations and Easter events, a number of initial recommendations against each theme have been produced as well as an outline vision for holistic regeneration. This will inform some early design concepts to test out in the community planning phase.
Alongside the good life questioning, the team working with the City Council’s development team and Architects BM3 used a 3D physical model of the Druids Heath estate to engage with residents at two community events – Explore the Dell on 13th April and a Family Open Day on the 23rd April. What worked well was to get residents to identify where they lived in relation to the model starting with their home and then moving outwards exploring the other themes.
113 residents provided information to the team through these 2 events and over 200 attended to enjoy the events and activities arranged for residents.
The themes included:
- Open spaces
- Community and local facilities
- Jobs and local economy
- Movement and access
In addition to the strands of engagement, a postal and electronic questionnaire has been developed and distributed across the estate. This asks a number of questions including:
- What the regeneration could mean to residents’ and their families
- Questions on each of the regeneration themes (housing, open spaces etc.)
- Profile questions about the respondents
A prize draw is advertised along the survey to encourage as many residents to complete it. The survey will be open until the last week of June and the findings incorporated with the report on the community planning phase of the engagement.
From our conversations about a good life for residents five initial design ideas have been produced. The ideas and principles are the first pieces in the jigsaw for the regeneration that can be incorporated into a masterplan, a blueprint for regeneration and vision of what the renewed estate will look like They are the result of our conversations with over 1000 people through three phases who have actively engaged through events, workshops, door knocking and surveys to agree these five ideas.
The three phases were:
Big conversations - January to April 2022- where we generated what the key ingredients for a good life are for residents and stakeholders. We’ve undertaken in depth conversations right across the estate and carried out a survey of residents.
Neighbourhood Planning - Easter 2022 - where we presented some key design principles to residents and stakeholders and used a 3D model of the estate to explore with residents how these principles could translate into design ideas.
Neighbourhood Planning – May to September 2022. We presented some initial ideas to residents and stakeholders and listened to your feedback to refine these. We have used the physical 3D model of the estate as well as begun using our digital tools including virtual reality headsets and the virtual model on the website.
The five initial design ideas on the concept boards are:
- Village Green Enhancements and Bridge Connection
- Public Square with Opportunities for Start-Ups and Shops
- Sports Pitches and Community Amenities
- New Sustainable Tenure Blind Homes and Local Parks
- Safer Streets
The first three ideas (Village Green, public square, and sports pitches and community amenities) have informed a Levelling Up Bid into Central Government that could leverage in just over £20 million investment that would significantly contribute to the holistic regeneration of the estate providing state of the art community amenities around which other aspects of regeneration could be shaped. The full Cabinet report on the LUF bids is available on the council's website.
The location of these amenities will be shaped by further community dialogue and the master planning process.
The last two ideas represent general design principles for further application in developing the masterplan with no detailed designs yet on how they will be applied in detailed design.
The feedback on all five design ideas has been overwhelmingly positive at community events held in Whitsun and the summer holidays and in engagement on doorsteps.
Following the themes that arose from the Big Conversation and emerging vision and design concepts from the Community Planning and Design Concept stages, a first attempt at assembling a masterplan that reflects what we have heard has been drawn up. Please click the ‘Version 1’ button to download and view the first version. Please note, this plan is concept only and we welcome your views about what you do and don’t like about it, or what else you would like to see, does it reflect what you want for the estate or have we missed something? We will then update it and create new versions throughout the Masterplanning Process to come to a final masterplan for Druids Heath.
A ‘Masterplan’ of Druids Heath will be submitted to the planning authority at Birmingham City Council as part of an application for outline planning permission. Outline planning applications allow the submission of outline proposals, and will determine the decision for the nature of the development proposals, the details of which may be agreed as ‘reserved matters’ applications at a later stage. The outline planning application will include drawings and information on, but not be limited to; the uses for the development and any distinct development zones, the amount of development proposed for each use, the indicative layout, an indication of the minimum and maximum height, width and length of proposed buildings and areas in which access point to the site will be located.