Port Loop, B16
3.84 (11 reviews) 3.84 (11 reviews)
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Category Scores

3.36
Facilities
4.18
Design
4.55
Location
3.73
Value
2.55
Management

Port Loop, by Urban Splash, sits on a unique island in west Birmingham. Comprising of 1,150 3-bedroom houses ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 sq ft, residents benefit from communal gardens and the development’s 43-acre, canal-side site, just 15 mins from the city centre.

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Good area, great homes and a wonderful community, but there are a few issues that might be important to your decision.

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2021

In terms of the design of the development; the houses and open spaces are well thought out and well executed, we’re extremely happy with our home, communal garden, and other open spaces. I would overall recommend this development to anyone looking to move here, that being said there are some small inconveniences that you might need to be aware of.

I think practicality is not always the designers priority, for example not providing enough bins for the communal bin store and allocating codes seemingly at random to an illogical number of residents (too many people to too few bins). Vehicle access has not been provided to the communal garden for residents with parking spaces in front of their houses, this could be an issue in the future for renovation/window cleaning/furniture moving. The bin stores were badly maintained when we first moved in and only through community action has the issue been rectified. The gates on the bin stores are often broken and slow to be fixed. The names of the road are extremely similar (South Loop Park, South Loop Square, South Loop Green) and the road layout is new and confusing, this has led to a lot of delivery drivers/deliveries going to the wrong houses. In terms of building management and property management, for example snagging, the ultimate outcomes have been satisfactory but the communication between the residents, Urban Splash, and other contractors has been abysmal. All of the members of staff seem to be trying to do their best but are overloaded with work. For example sub contractors/builders will arrive at random to fix snags, there are quirks to the houses that the builders know about and have informed Urban Splash of but these messages never make it to the home owners, there’s little to no information on who to contact when an issue arises. Hopefully these are all just teething problems that will be worked out in further phases. A community meeting has been scheduled which will allow us to rectify some of these complaints.

As stated above, we love our home, the community, and the development as a whole but the little things are a tad bit annoying.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Close to medium sized Tesco and Morisons by car, within about 15 minutes walk to Lidl and small road of shops, no shops extremely close by but this likely to change as the development grows. Only 15-20 minutes walk along the canal from Brindley place which has a wide selection of restaurants and bars, good availability of takeaway from city centre. Lots of open spaces, mini park in the development itself, about 5 minutes walk to Edgbaston reservoir and immediate access to canal. Transport links are slightly limited, the most useful public transport is the number 80 bus that can get you into New Street via Five ways in 25 minutes but this is the only bus that services the immediate area. In terms of living on my street, it’s a very quiet area as the development is in it’s early phases, no through traffic as the main road leads to the canal. Occasionally late at night you can hear boy races going along the larger adjoining roads but it’s mostly background noise. Parking availability is moderate, guest spaces are provided but limited and can fill up quickly on weekends. Currently cars can be parked on the main road (Icknield port road) but I have a suspicion that when more of the development is completed yellow lines could be added. There is no on street parking in front of the current houses, some houses have room for 1 or 2 cars on their driveway. In terms of anti-social behaviour there have been some instances of fly-tipping near the entrance to the canal and building site but they have been dealt with quickly by the council. I do also think that the entrance to the canal leads to non-residents often walking through the development to get there, groups of youths often frequent the area but my neighbours and I haven’t had any issues currently. Bin collections are every two weeks and on the part of the council there have been no problems.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

With Urban splash there’s a 10 day period to report initial snags which will be rectified as soon as possible. We delayed moving in by a week, even though we had a snag inspector we still missed a lot of small defects which won’t likely be fixed until the end of the 2 year snagging period. I would recommend moving in on or very near your completion date and living in the space to note down all the small issues you can find.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

Snags can be raised on an online system, while emergency issues can be called in. Snags have been slowly corrected but this is understandable with dozens of new houses being completed. Our kitchen tap sprung a leak in a connecting part (a part failure or installation issue) and was dealt with in that same week as an semi – emergency.

2
Facilities
5
Design
4
Location
4
Value
2
Management
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While not without its issues, it oozes charm and character and really is the best place to live in Birmingham!

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2021

Overall we love the house and the development as a whole. While aspects such as the management company are very poor (you only need to look at RMG on google to know how they’re going to be), the development and community ooze character and charm. The development has a good future with excellent plans in place with the expected completion of Tube Works which will host cafes, a hotel for artists etc. Some elements of the design could be improved, most notably sound insulation between houses which could be far improved for more comfortable living, although the external insulation is fantastic. Bathrooms are of high quality with Grohe taps & Shower and good quality tiling. The IdealCombi doors (exterior) are some of the most sturdy I’ve had the pleasure of using and would spec them on future houses.

The houses should have shipped with EV charging points and solar panels if Urban Splash wants to think ahead, would even gain them excellent media attention if they did… and it would be good to get this installed in retrospect with significant discounts if they acknowledge this mistake.

Phase 1A has a lovely park however it does look like other phases have the worse parks with no paths. There is a significant lack of Bike hoops for guests or locals visiting the public park and hopefully, Urban Splash is aware of this. The naming system of the roads also needs a rethink, even if this means address have to chance as it’s confusing for everyone, most notably delivery drivers (South Loop Park, South Loop, Square, South Loop Green… )

While there are issues, it is an amazing place to live and there is truly nothing else like it in Birmingham. I’m a proud Port Loopian.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Very good access to the canal with only a 10min walk to Brinley Place / Symphony Hall. Bin collections can be a bit hit and miss but that’s normally for Birmingham… Transport links are okay but could be better if Voi expanded to include this area.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

It would have been good to know that the Birmingham houses were not receiving smart plugs like the Manchester houses… this is essentially false advertising.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

In some cases very well, but in most cases, they are slow and hard to deal with.

5
Facilities
5
Design
5
Location
4
Value
1
Management
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Port loop – regeneration that is a beacon of what good build will be in birmingham

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2021

Townhouses in red and blue brick
Other modular builds come in a grey white concrete colour
Pending the row houses it will bring more colour character into the area
Area is maintained by teams which so far seems good
Can only tell after 5 years if the upkeep is sufficient
The area has an affluent feel which is nice as we spent over £400k for property

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

October 2021 – Port loop is still in the construction stage but it’s showing great promise.
A bus stop is close by (5min walk)
Morrison’s is a 20min walk
Lidl is a 10min walk away
Both well stocked supermarkets which offer great value
The development promises a civic square center which will hopeful make it a bit more of a destination but this is still very much a residential area
Bin collection is via bin store seems regular and no traffic noise as we are on an island surrounded by canals
15mins walk you’re in brindley place which is a great area
Canal towpath needs lighting leading to brindley place

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

That the water bus will not be available from port loop for a long time
Voi scooters can not be parked in portloop

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

So far all snags and issues have been acknowledged but the process feels a bit lengthy when you consider you want to settle and not keep on contacting customer service

4
Facilities
4
Design
4
Location
5
Value
4
Management
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A great place to live

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2021

The overall development design is excellent, one of the best in Birmingham. It feels very modern and progressive in terms of green and community spaces. The buildings aesthetically are very pleasant. A few frustrations with having difficulty asking the developers not to do something, e.g. remove carpet for wood flooring and there were also initial issue with bin area (no collections, broken gate) and no information on door codes for gate access.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Quality of open spaces is great and sense of community, especially the Front room activities. Not too many shops as part of the development as of yet. Currently with construction there is lots of noise, construction debris and dust in the air.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

We were already aware of pretty much all aspects of the development.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

Yes they we had a number of snags which have since been fixed.

4
Facilities
5
Design
4
Location
3
Value
3
Management
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Trying to help you improve

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2021

I’d add on the building management site that the relationship with the management company isn’t great. It’s never something that was explained to us and I can’t say we are happy with RMG ways, lack of introduction and ruthless practices. They’ve clearly missed the engagement with the first phase and I can only hope for an improvement going forward. I am really hopeful for a better service on that part and better transparency.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Port Loop benefits from a 5 star location, a short walk from the city center via the canals. Lots of walking and running routes around the canals, the Edgbaston reservoir, summer fields park and harborne walkway. Lots of off road paths and scenery. This is really amazing and probably the most undersold aspect of the development.
It’s still being built so quite a bit of disturbance from the development site, without the amenities available yet. It takes a bit of vision and patience, but no doubt it will be great once it’s finished. As residents, we can’t wait for a safe and direct access to the reservoir (straight on a future bridge without having to walk along the busy Icknield port road and it’s crazy drivers) as well as the community hub, retail units in the old pipe works and a local grocery shop as we’ve seen in the planning apps.
The design and built type of the development attracts a certain type of people, more open minded and visionary than on other self centred developments. So a huge value and surprise comes from the community of residents living there.
We bought in the vision, the end scheme but it’s fair to say the customer service and snagging lacks ressources to deal with snags on a type of house we know nothing about (modern method of construction, innovative fittings with witch we would have expect more support and responsiveness). This aspect prove quite disappointing and prevents the 5th star on the review. It’s frustrating that having come this length in engineering a great recipe, preparing the dough, baking the cake, dressing and serving it, the developer has failed to engage at the patrons tables and provide the service one would expect when seating at a 5 star table (and a five star bill).

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

Good:
– Canals, reservoir, harborne walkway, the « nature » access in a city lifestyle
– portloop is inhabited by a community of open minded people, happy to risk buying an innovative design and sharing amenities (in a country where the average citizen worships his garden fence and privacy)
Bad:
– RMG 😈
– Snagging issues and lack of support in the maintenance of your own non standard construction home (I have read the home owner manual front to back and it’s not sufficient)

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

I’ve mentioned about it above. It’s been poor and a the missed cherry on a beautiful cake. Leaving a bitter taste. I have seen improvements lately and I’m hopeful customer care will get the required level of resources to make Port Loop the 5 star development it should be

4
Facilities
4
Design
5
Location
4
Value
2
Management
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A great place to live

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2021

Very striking contemporary architecture, like it or loathe it. Inside, really good, modular design, airy, light and spacious; perhaps a few details haven’t been completely thought through but basically you are unlikely to find a new house designed half as well. And all very high-tech/eco-friendly. There have been quite a few teething problems and the developers aren’t very quick to sort them out – I have known much, much better customer service in new housing develpments but perhaps the pandemic is partly to blame. But, basically, a great place to live.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

New development quite close to central Birmingham. Shared spaces – communal gardens and public parks – are a particularly good feature. There are no shops or restaurants in the area, as yet. Bus to central Birmingham every ten minutes or so, less on Sundays. Reserved parking for residents, frequently abused by visitors. Little anti-social behaviour or traffic noise. Refuse collection weekly, recycling fortnightly. Altogether a good place to live, difficult to find anywhere as pleasant close to central Birmingham. Access to the canal towpath for walks, jogging etc a bonus.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

I wish I had known that the very wonderful Birmingham Opera Company were planning a production of Wagner’s Rhinegold in the disused buildings opposite my house. But, sadly, they had to cancel the production anyway.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

Yes, I have had a response, but action is slow – think months not weeks.

4
Facilities
5
Design
4
Location
5
Value
3
Management
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Location is great, lovely homes and parks, disappointing management.

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2021

Designs are lovely and modern, being on the canal is also gorgeous, apart from the nosey boats that come past!

On-site park is a nice feature.

The management are not very good. Takes a long time for complaints to get sorted and there’d a general feel that they don’t really care. Disappointing in that regard.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

The good, very close to the city centre, specifically brindley place with lots of bars and restaurants. Short walk to 2 big supermarkets. Generally quiet in the area as it’s off the main road. Kids can be abit noisy at times. Lovely park on the development and short walk to a big local park.

The bad, the area outside of the development isn’t the best. Known for a lot of crime. Fly tipping is a problem. Shady characters hanging about sometimes.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

The house get very hot in the summer, only big fans can sort this out. However, it does mean the houses don’t get too cold in the winter!

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

Landlord has been great with issues and general stuff. The building management however (which is mostly out of our landlords control) have been slow and dissapointing with problem we have had.

2
Facilities
4
Design
5
Location
3
Value
1
Management
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Stunning development by the canals!

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Oct 2021

The development itself is really well done and houses are finished at really high standards – the outside look is just amazing and the neighbourhood makes you feel you are in a safe area. The complex has everything you could ask for from green areas to the canals itself in case you feel like kayaking :).

Overall, we are really happy with the complex.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

The best of this new development is the community without any doubt! it’s relatively close to city centre with the advantage of being a really quiet area.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

quality of the white goods don’t add up to the overall quality of the complex.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

There was few issue when I first moved in (ie doors not aligned, floor uneven or the main door getting locked!) but they were quickly solved.

5
Facilities
5
Design
4
Location
4
Value
4
Management
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Good community, nice houses but room for improvement

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2021

The houses are nice but there’s a real lack of storage space, especially for outdoor gear. The garden maintenance was non existent for almost 6 months since I arrived but slowly getting better. The management are disappointingly slow to respond to maintenance/warranty requests.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Convenient location. We’re right by the canal. Nice community. Slight lack of very close by shops but there’s a community building at the Front Room

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

Almost no storage. Stray cats urinate on the properties.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

Could do with resolving clixifix queries more promptly.

3
Facilities
3
Design
5
Location
3
Value
3
Management
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Fantastic development however a few issues still to address

Verified Resident
Verified Resident
Review Date Sep 2021

The design of the houses are beautiful and innovative, feeling light and spacious. There’s been a fantastic focus from Urban Splash to help build a real community feel. However, security is a big issue. There have been regular instances of people trying house/doors in the middle of the night and at least one car has been stolen.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

The location is great making it very easy to get into town however the canal path is poorly lit which makes it feel dangerous to walk there at night. There needs to be a small local shop nearby.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

The community feel of the development is a real selling point and was something that wasn’t stressed much when I went for a viewing.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

They have responded to each of the snags raised however it often took several months for each one to be resolved.

3
Facilities
5
Design
5
Location
5
Value
4
Management
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