Planning permission for Digbeth development marks start of first phase of Smithfield masterplan

A Birmingham-based developer’s plans to build 687 new homes in Digbeth, Birmingham, have been approved by councillors, two years after the initial application was submitted.

Pressworks is the first development in the Smithfield masterplan area to receive approval. The rest of Birmingham’s £1.9bn scheme, which is expected to deliver 3,000 homes overall, is being advanced separately.

Prosperity Group states that Pressworks will turn an “underutilised brownfield site” of warehouses and commercial premises into a new gateway to Birmingham city centre.

Pressworks CGI (2)

CGI of approved Pressworks development plans

The 687-home development will consist of two seven-storey blocks and one 23-storey block on the former market site,15% of which will be affordable.

The area will house new commercial units and outdoor spaces, including community roof gardens.

Joe Billingham, chief executive at Prosperity Group, said: “Pressworks is an opportunity to transform an underutilised brownfield site and deliver new homes, alongside exciting opportunities for café’s, restaurants, bars, and shops.

“It will also support the wider delivery of the Smithfield masterplan, representing the first piece of the puzzle for one of Birmingham’s most important regeneration projects.”

>>See also: How to get the green light for brownfield

Since Prosperity Group was founded by Billingham in 2007, it has built 3,084 homes across 42 new-build and conversion projects.

On 17 August 2023, Birmingham City Council denied Prosperity Group planning permission for Smithfield Lofts, a 711-home development, on the grounds that the plans did not include sufficient affordable housing provision.