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Aviation authority objection delays Simpson's 167m tower

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Birmingham planners have delayed examining a tower proposal by Ian Simpson Architects because of objections from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The scheme was to go before the planning committee today (Thursday) but council officers removed it from the agenda. This is the second time in three weeks they have had to pull the plans.

The 167m high tower would be one of Birmingham's tallest buildings. The addition of a telecoms mast could take the building up to 192m.

The CAA has the right to object to any structure more than 150m high, but it has not made its objections explicit.

'I assume its concern relates to the height, but it seems to be taking a very long time to come back to us, ' said Alison Walker, principal planning officer at the council.

Ian Simpson did not wish to comment on the scheme until after the application had been made, but the AJ understands that discussions have not yet led to a height reduction.

The city planning department is mystified by the CAA's protest because a taller HOK scheme nearby was given planning consent two years ago without it raising any objections.

Simpson's glass-clad building is unusual because it is designed to be a purely residential structure. Of its 200 apartments, about 50 are to be set aside as affordable homes for key workers.

The CAA was unavailable for comment.

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