City of Wolverhampton Council has reached a major milestone in its Canalside regeneration plans after completing a land deal with developer Placefirst.

The leading UK build to rent provider – as the council’s preferred developer - will now take possession of the city centre brownfield site at Lower Horseley Fields, adjacent to Union Mill Street.

Placefirst has already secured full planning permission for its transformative scheme of 366 new homes and commercial space in the heart of Wolverhampton’s historic Canalside Quarter.

It will now finalise delivery plans while the 5 acre brownfield site close to the new £150 million transport Interchange continues to be remediated by Dunton Environmental to make it ready for construction to start next year.

The development will deliver a new canalside community as part of a wider regeneration project in the area, working alongside the City of Wolverhampton Council, Canal and River Trust and West Midlands Combined Authority. It will provide a mix of townhouses, new build apartments and commercial space.

Sensitive restoration of canalside heritage assets and major environmental improvements will be implemented in the scheme, which is designed by award winning architecture practice jmarchitects, with WSP as planning and heritage consultants.  

Included in the regeneration and Placefirst’s commitment to placemaking, a new promenade, public open spaces, landscaping and pedestrian access to the canal towpath will also be created, taking full advantage of the heritage waterways. 

The development is part of Placefirst’s expansion into the West Midlands joining its portfolio of national regeneration projects, and once complete, will transform this former industrial area into a vibrant canalside community with a mix of housing options. 

Councillor Stephen Simkins, City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, said: “We have ambitious plans to regenerate Wolverhampton’s Canalside area and I am delighted we are now in a position where this transformational scheme can get on the ground.

“Placefirst will deliver a nationally significant development that not only brings back into use a large parcel of brownfield land but also enables the city to take advantage of our fantastic waterways, and the heritage that comes with it, to provide a sustainable community where people want to live and work, now and in the future.

“The scheme will also generate local jobs and boost our economic recovery. 

“Urban living forms a critical part of how we are reimagining our city centre and will help us meet the increasing demand for housing.

“Canalside is a large and exciting opportunity, and the Council is working hard with its partners to provide the determined and skilful leadership needed to realise opportunities like this.”

David Mawson, Chief Executive Officer at Placefirst, said: “This land deal marks a defining moment in the ongoing transformation of Wolverhampton’s historic Canalside Quarter. 

“As our very first development in the Midlands, we are enormously proud to be delivering hundreds of sustainable, high quality new rental homes for this first phase of Canalside.

“We take our role as regeneration specialists extremely seriously and are passionate about breathing new life into areas in need of investment helping to support the creation of new jobs, prosperity and much needed new housing.

“With this transformative new development, our goal is to deliver a new neighbourhood that both future residents and the wider Wolverhampton community can enjoy and take pride in.”