Proposals for a 30-storey mixed-use tower by Broadway Malyan have been approved by Birmingham City Council in the face of objections from heritage groups
A meeting of the city’s planning committee last week voted to allow the second and third phases of the Beorma Quarter on behalf of property firm Salhia Investments.
The tower would include office space and 125 apartments, while two other buildings of seven and 13 storeys are also included, along with a new public square. The plans replace a 2009 permission by Trevor Horne Architects which included a tower just 3.6 metres shorter than the one approved last week (AJ 26.05.09).
A report by planners which went to the committee said that the principle of a tall building on the site had already been established, and that the additional height would be offset by a new, slimmer design.
‘Overall, I consider that the proposed scheme would have less than substantial harm on designated heritage assets and that this harm is outweighed by the significant public benefits of the scheme,’ he said.
The Victorian Society had complained that the main tower would have a negative impact on both the setting of the Grade II* listed St Martin’s Church and on the character and appearance of a nearby conservation area.
Historic England said: ’While the new tower is slimmer and less articulated they consider that the new proximity of greater height and volume to the heritage asset, of an already dominant building, has the potential to cause greater harm to the asset.’
Broadway Malyan’s Birmingham-based director, Neil Rose, said: ’The scheme has changed significantly since original proposals were approved in 2009. However we have striven to pay homage to the area’s historic roots and retained the concept of expressing the site’s medieval burgage plots in the design of the tower.’
He said that the main façades of the tower would be faced in sandstone to reflect the geology of the area and to ensure it fitted in with its surroundings.
The building is located next to Future Systems’ iconic Selfridges building and will be near to the proposed High Speed 2 rail station.
The council accepted an offer of £900,000 towards off-site affordable housing after reviewing a viability report which concluded that it couldn’t afford any more than that level.
The first phase of the scheme - including the refurbishment of the former Bullring Markets Coldstore building into offices plus the development of a new hotel – was completed earlier this year.
Broadway Malyan’s recently approved Beorma tower [December 2015]
Location 135-143 Digbeth, 3-5 Park Street, 89-91 Allison Street, Birmingham
Type of project Mixed Use Regeneration
Client Salhia Investments Ltd
Architect Broadway Malyan
Landscape architect Bell Fischer Landscape Architects
Planning consultant Alistair Grills Associates
Structural engineer Buro Happold
M&E consultant Hoare Lea
Quantity surveyor Gleeds
Lighting consultant Hoare Lea
Gross internal floor area 45,614m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Design & Build
Total cost Confidential