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Birmingham New Street Station plans submitted for planning

Detailed plans for Birmingham’s £600 million New Street train station overhaul have been submitted to the city council for planning approval

The scheme has been masterminded by Foreign Office Architects (FOA) after winning an RIBA-organised contest in 2008. The practice fended off competition from 47 other proposals, including finalists Rafael Viñoly Architects, CRAB Studio, IDOM UK, LAB architecture studio and UN Studio.

The final ‘integrated design team’ consists of FOA alongside WS Atkins as lead consultant and Mace as delivery partner. The submission of the detailed plans follows a public exhibition held by Network Rail in October 2009. Over 2,000 people visited the exhibition and over 600 feedback questionnaires were returned. The overwhelming positive response showing 91 per cent of respondents agreeing that the design was an improvement on the current station.

FOA have worked on a number of Network Rail’s expansion and improvement plans; it has also landed the £1 billion Euston Station redevelopment with fellow London practice Allies and Morrison in April 2008.

The first phase of the Birmingham project – the creation of a new concourse, three-and-a-half times the size of the current one – will be complete in 2012. Once finished, the second phase, to redevelop the old concourse, will then begin. This is scheduled to complete in 2015.

FOA describes its designs for Birmingham New Street Station as ‘drawing comparison’ with Raymond Loewy’s ‘muscular and powerful’ GG1 locomotive.

Route director for Network Rail Jo Kaye said: “Birmingham is home to world class design so we have to deliver a station that is visionary and adds to this great architectural heritage.

‘Our plans for New Street will further enhance the growing reputation of Birmingham and improve the travelling experience for the millions of passengers who use the station every year.’

Birmingham New Street in numbers

  • 35 million – passengers who use New Street every year
  • 120,000 – people who pass through the station every day
  • 60,000 – amount of passengers per day New Street was designed to cater for when it was rebuilt in 1967
  • 20 – the amount of times individual platforms at New Street have had to be closed in the past 12 months due to overcrowding
  • £398 million – the cost to the public purse of building New Street Gateway
  • £2.3 billion – the economic benefits of New Street station redevelopment
  • £350 million – the amount Network Rail is investing in renewing the signalling systems through New Street and the West Midlands over the next 10 years

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