Stephen J. Giles

Passion Points: 23K

Construction & regeneration
10 Feb 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Selly Oak Student Scheme: Amended Plans

REVISED plans have gone in for a 523 bed canal-side student redevelopment on Elliott Road, Selly Oak.

With a new architect also on board, the scheme has been vastly improved to connect to arguably Birmingham’s greatest asset - its canal.


Located at Selly Oak Industrial Estate, Units 5-8, Elliott Road, the revised proposal - brought forward by Watkins Jones Group - will see the site reconnect with arguably Birmingham’s biggest asset - its canal, through the demolition of vacant industrial builds (as seen above) before redevelopment can deliver:

  • Part 5-8 storey accommodation;
  • 523 student beds (135 studios/388 clusters);
  • 11 contemporary townhouses along Elliott Road;
  • Central courtyard gardens;
  • Secure indoor & outdoor amenity spaces;
  • Zero parking/ 128 cycles;
  • NEW fluid connections to the canal towpath and beyond.

With a new design team in place, Glenn Howells Architects & Layer Studio Landscape set about delivering on three fundamental principles as they redesigned the scheme. These are:

  • Establishing a fluid connection to the Canal

  • Creating a green campus

  • Providing connected routes all around the site

An expansive courtyard garden will become the beating heart of the scheme, providing students with ample space to study and relax, or simply to collect their bike before venturing out and about. 

Lively amenity spaces (gym, lounges and study spaces) will be at ground floor level, with the area set to bring much-needed activity and interest to the canal system and its new area of public realm.

Eleven contemporary townhouses will replace vacant warehouse units, and these will be positioned along Elliott Road - each purposely designed in response to the scale and context of the neighbouring area.

Before & after:

With the shock refusal of The Triangle (student development) site nearby, a student needs assessment document has been added to the application, fully outlining the significant demand for PBSA, not just in Selly Oak, but across the city.

Fresh Student Living - formed in 2010 by Watkins Jones Group - will operate the scheme if/when the scheme gets the go-ahead in the coming months. Certainly one to keep an eye on!

All images the property of Glenn Howells Architects

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
04 Feb 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

New Perry Barr Station Approved!

A new flagship Train Station for Perry Barr has today been approved (9-1) at Birmingham City Council's Planning Committee.

Forming part of a wider £500 million regeneration of Perry Barr, the station will replace the current 1960s building, a station deemed unfit for modern purposes.

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The new Perry Barr Station will be a fully accessible, fit-for-purpose station with upgraded ticket offices, toilets & baby changing facilities, alongside new lifts and stairs to the platforms.

It'll replace the current 1960s building, a station deemed unfit for modern purposes.

Redevelopment - set to start in the spring - forms part of a wider £500 million regeneration of Perry Barr, with the new station set to benefit from 'strong links to north Birmingham’s road, bus and cycle networks'.

The redevelopment, however, is said to be £10 million over budget, and currently stands at approximately £30.98 million - raising some concerns over the scheme.


Original proposals in September 2020 were roundly criticised when first unveiled. This ultimately led to a redesign by Glancy Nicholls Architects late last year.

It now features more glazing, as well as perforated metal panels, incorporating sporting images, with the intention of providing Perry Barr with a visual landmark, both during the day and at night.

Landscaping of all public areas were also changed to reflect the redesign, with new paving, planters & provision for a minimum 21 cycle spaces.

As well as the railway station, outline planning permission was also granted for a bus interchange in front of the neighbouring One Stop Shopping Centre.

Indicative plans will see a sprint stop, three bus stops, signal controlled pedestrian crossings and pick-up/drop-off area for taxi’s and disabled users.

Further details will be the subject of a future reserved matters application.


Galliford Try were awarded the tender to build the station back in March 2020 - as revealed by Itsyourbuild back in March, and they will begin works in the spring, before opening to visitors ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

The project is being led by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the West Midlands Rail Executive in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Network Rail and West Midlands Trains.

All images the property of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM)/Glancy Nicholls Architects

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
21 Jan 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Stirchley: Affordable Housing & Retail Units

Stirchley Co-operative, in collaboration with Accord Housing, has today secured approval to reinvigorate a dormant site by delivering new affordable housing & ground floor retail units for local businesses.

Click the link for more.


Stirchley Co-operative Development (SCD) is a local community group comprising five housing and worker co-operatives intending to build affordable and eco-friendly residential and retail premises in the heart of Stirchley.

This mixed-use redevelopment, located at 1386-1392 Pershore Road, will contribute to the regeneration of the area by delivering much needed affordable housing & providing local Co-op businesses with prominent ground floor retail space.

39 one, two and three bedroom apartments (1-4 persons) will be created alongside 3 ground floor retail units - all within a sustainable timber framed, cream cladded three-storey new build.

All apartments will be for affordable rent, subject to a s106 agreement - thanks to funding from Homes England - with homes made available through Accord Housing.

A communal lounge, laundry room and a kitchen diner will supplement these homes; alongside a 670sqm rooftop garden & a 660sqm communal courtyard space.

Stirchley-based businesses that form part of the Co-operative will take up residence on the ground floor (738sqm). These will include:

  1. Artefact (artist-led gallery & community space);

  2. Birmingham Bike Foundry (bicycle repairs, refurbishment and training);

  3. Loaf (loaf social enterprise is a bakery and cookery school).


Given that the site is next to a major road & the Grade II listed, British Oak Public House - who have a substantial beer garden, many issues raised were understandably noise related.

Noise surveys were undertaken in recent months to nullify any potential issues that may crop up in the future. Measures implemented will see residents’ supplied with enhanced glazing & mechanical ventilation systems that can be used should their windows be closed.


Given the sustainable location, with a new train station set to arrive soon, and with ample bus links on offer, zero car parking has been allocated here; however, 128 cycle spaces will be provided within the courtyard area.

All images are the property of Indesign, Accord Group's in-house architectural firm.

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25 passion points
Construction & regeneration
18 Jan 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Selly Oak Student Scheme: Amended Plans

REVISED plans have gone in for a 510-bed canalside student redevelopment on Elliott Road, Selly Oak.

With a new architect also on board, the scheme has been drastically improved to directly connect to arguably Birmingham's biggest asset - its canal system.


Located at ‘Selly Oak Industrial Estate, Units 5-8, Elliott Road‘, the amended proposal - brought forward by Watkins Jones Group - will see the site reconnect with arguably Birmingham’s biggest asset - its canal, through the demolition of vacant industrial builds (as seen above) before redevelopment can deliver:

  • Part 5-8 storey accommodation;
  • 510 student beds (130 studios/380 clusters);
  • 11 contemporary townhouses along Elliott Road;
  • Central courtyard gardens;
  • Secure Indoor & outdoor amenity spaces;
  • Zero parking/ 128 cycles;
  • NEW fluid connections to the canal towpath and beyond.

With a new design team in place, Glenn Howells Architects & Layer Studio Landscape have set about delivering on three main principles in redesigning the scheme. These are:

  • Establishing a fluid connection to the Canal;
  • Creating a green campus;
  • Providing connected routes all around the site.

An expansive courtyard garden will become the beating heart of the scheme, providing students with sufficient space to study and relax - or simply to collect their bike before venturing out and about. 

Lively amenity spaces (gym, lounges and study spaces) will be located at ground floor level, with the area set to bring much-needed activity and interest to the canal system and its new area of public realm.

Eleven contemporary townhouses will be positioned along Elliott Road - these have been purposely designed in response to the scale and context of the neighbouring area.

Before & after:

With considerable demand for PBSA in Selly Oak and across the city, Fresh Student Living - formed in 2010 by Watkins Jones Group - will operate the scheme if/when the scheme gets the go-ahead in the coming months.

Certainly one to keep an eye on!

All images the property of Glenn Howells Architects

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35 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 Jan 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: 48-storey Irish Tower

Irish Tower has now been approved!

The developer is now free to replace an unattractive, vacant site by delivering 454 build to rent apartments within a 48 storey leaf-shaped skyscraper.


This highly sustainable site, in dire need of investment, is now free - subject to a S106 legal agreement & safeguarding conditions - to deliver 181 one & 273 two bedroom apartments (1-4 persons) alongside around 10K of amenity spaces.

Ground floor, mezzanine, first floor, and a landmark 48th floor Sky Lounge will provide the amenity for residents; although not confirmed, these are likely to contain lounges, co-working space, dining areas, a cinema room, and an exclusive bar for inhabitants.


Developer Court Collaboration and Birmingham City Council have also agreed, via a TRO process, that Stone Yard (West) be closed to vehicular traffic, thus allowing for £526,422 of all-important improvements to be made to the public realm.

The space will be open for pedestrians and cyclists and will tie in with future developments and the imminent Midland Metro Tram expansion along High Street–all set to kick off this year.

So, for those reasons above, Irish Tower will be a car-free affair; however, a minimum 122 cycle parking spaces will be provided - amounting to 35% provision.


The principle of a 48 storey development was deemed acceptable from the outset.

It's also accepted that it will cause less than substantial harm to the setting of both conservation areas and several designated and non-designated heritage assets in the area. 

With additional information submitted to address concerns raised, councillors too accepted that the public benefits outweigh the harm identified. Those benefits include:

  • A recognisable landmark building that will contribute to the legibility of the city in an area set to undergo transformational change in the near future;
  • Enhancing the street scene with the removal of run-down buildings;
  • Introduction of a new area of public realm - one that adheres to the aspirations of the Rea Valley Urban Quarter SPD.
  • Green roofs to help biodiversity;
  • 454 much needed new homes;
  • Resident spending by helping to sustain shops and businesses in the area;
  • Increased jobs within the industry offering apprenticeships and training opportunities.


Since the High Places document was first adopted in 2003, more advice on talls has been provided in the Big City Plan (2011), Birmingham Development Plan (2017) and the Rea Valley Urban Quarter SPD (2019). These policy documents advise that tall buildings beyond the designated zone may be permitted. 

It is highlighted that High Street Deritend "presents the opportunity to create a street of city scale with a strong identity and character”, with good quality design and connectivity. 

As part of this vision, the Council's BDP includes this area in city centre policies & stipulates that existing buildings that detract from the quality of the place should be replaced - reflected here in the demolition of the former Irish Centre.

As we already know, several tall buildings have already been permitted along the route of this street - think Connaught Square, Lunar Rise, etc.

It's also widely acknowledged that the adjacent Digbeth Quarter is a separate quarter, with its own distinct character.


Perhaps a slight disappointmenthere is that Irish Tower cannot sustain the preferred 35% affordable housing contribution without rendering the development unviable to proceed with.

However, 14 units (3%) WILL be made available for 'affordable private rent' at 80% of market rent in perpetuity.

Given the public realm improvements also factored in and costing over half a million, this reflects an equivalent financial provision of 6%.

If the public realm works costs well below the total above, then the remaining monies will be used towards off-site affordable housing.

All images are the property of Glancy Nicholls Architects.

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25 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 Jan 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: Bradford Street/Moseley Road

A residential redevelopment comprising 78 apartments has today been approved for Digbeth.

Brought forward by Home Nation Ltd & designed by K4 Architects, the site is located at the junction of Bradford Street & Moseley Road - and within the Rea Valley Urban Quarter.


Another residential scheme for Digbeth has been approved! Another grim, vacant plot set to be redeveloped!

Currently, home to a retail unit and a dwelling at 5 & 11 Moseley Street, Home Nation Ltd last year acquired the site off Rochda Ltd, and with committee overwhelmingly backing the proposals, the site is free to be demolished.

Although objections were raised by local residents and groups regarding scale, massing and materiality, committee considered the proposal a real positive addition to the city in a prominent corner location that badly needs reviving!


The site will see a part 5, 6 & 8 storey apartment block, and the retention & restoration of a listed workshop at the rear - delivering 78 one, two and three bedroom units (40sqm to 88sqm) in a range of variants that will cater for one, two, three, four and five persons.

A central courtyard area will add external communal amenity space for residents’, alongside roof gardens/private external amenity space on the upper levels.

The two storey listed building on site will be fully restored (great news!) and will keep much, if not all, of its original features, where possible.

It’ll be converted into 2 two bed/four person apartments and will become a major focal point of the new courtyard.

Images: Birmingham City Council/K4 Architects

The principal building will be constructed in a series of blue brick piers, setting out a grid of full height window bays. Louvres to the top of windows feature throughout the building with stone cast sills.

Zero on-site car parking spaces is provided, however, a cycle store with 78 cycle spaces will be incorporated instead.

An appraisal of the applicant’s viability report shows that eight (10.26%) apartments will be available for low-cost home ownership, subject to a s106 legal agreement.

The development was approved 6-2.  Watch this space for more updates on this project!

All drawings & renderings the property of K4 Architects.

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25 passion points
Construction & regeneration
23 Dec 2020 - Stephen Giles

Amendments In For Major Digbeth Scheme

Amended plans have recently arrived for the eagerly anticipated redevelopment of Upper Trinity Street, Digbeth.

Brought forward by developer Cole Waterhouse, we've prepared a thorough lowdown on each individual phase of this once-in-a-lifetime scheme, with exclusive renderings from the architect, Corstorphine+Wright. 


The site seeks to deliver:

  • 943 new homes (Private sale/ BTR/ affordable); 
  • A 133 bed Hotel (subject to occupier demand);
  • 6K sqm of ground floor cultural and commercial space;
  • Public open spaces; 
  • Public artworks;
  • A network of new yards and squares;
  • Restoration of Lock Keepers Cottage & Pump House.
  • Erection of NINE new buildings.

The site will undergo large scale (potentially phased) demolition works, with key buildings retained, enhanced and celebrated within these new plans. 
Blocks A, B, C; Makers' Yard, Passage & Upper Trinity Street.
Block A: 16 floors, 23,876 sqft commercial & 151 units (1-2 beds/5 three-bed duplexes)
Block B: 15 floors, 13,748 sqft commercial & 127 units (1-3 beds)
Block C: 15 floors, 98 units (1-2 beds) & 3,535 sqft commercial.
= 376 homes.

Running alongside Upper Trinity Street and adjacent the viaducts, these midrise blocks will provide a vibrant central spine through the development. 

At the heart of it all will sit the Makers’ Yards: multi-level creative studios, workspace & facilities and outdoor amenity spaces for residents..

Makers' Yard will sit above a basement car park and will be accessed from both Upper Trinity Street & the restored Pump House Passage.

Pump House Passage (#2 on the above legend)

This space will become a key north-south route within the redevelopment; it'll connect Adderley Yard to Pump House Park (#5) and will also provide links to Makers' Yard and future links into adjacent developments.

Blocks E, F, G; Bowyer Yard & Pump House Park.
Block E: 11 storeys, 4,790 sqft commercial & 67 units (1-2 beds/2 duplexes)
Block F: 7 storeys, 55 units (1-2 beds/4 duplexes) & 1,023 sqft commercial.
Block G: 5-7 storeys, 2,572 sqft commercial & 87 units (1-2 beds/10 duplexes)
= 209 homes

These blocks compliment the areas current & past industrial heritage. The saw-tooth industrial roofscape enables additional living space without the need for an increase in height.

Vibrancy will be brought to these blocks as live/ work street units linking through to an unlocked Bowyer Street.



Featuring the locally listed, Lock Keepers Cottage, this 18th century building within Pump House Park will be re-purposed and brought back into use for the community, complete with gardens.

Bowyer Yard will be a private contemplative space that relates to the live/work uses within the surrounding buildings.
Block J & the completion of Adderley Yard.
Block J: 19 floors, 5,296 sqft commercial & 124 units (1-2 beds/2 duplexes).

Block J will provide a gateway for the proposed new buildings set to spring up on Adderley Street and will also front onto the future Midland Metro tram stop.

Overlooking the new public realm at Adderley Yard, Block J will reach 19 storeys, and will feature a punctuated facade design, roof gardens, covered terraces and amenity spaces.



Adderley Yard will become the entrance of the new redevelopment. Digbethian in vibe, it'll become a lively area that will see Dead Wax retained and made a major focal point of the new yard. 

Artworks & murals will visually connect the area along with themed bespoke street furniture.

Block H
Block H. 32 floors, 234 units (1-2 beds), 9,743 sqft commercial, 1,624 sqft amenities & 2,323 gym space.
On the corner of Adderley Yard and Upper Trinity Street stands the most prominent gateway building that identifies the Upper Trinity Street development.

Reaching 32 storeys in height, it'll feature an 8 storey shoulder element to Adderley Yard and UTS, before transitioning down from the corner to lower adjacent buildings.



Amenity spaces will be at level 01 overlooking Adderley Yard, and level 7.

PHASE 5 (flexible):
Block D: 8 storey, 133 bed Hotel & 266 sqm flexible commercial.

This standalone building will provide a strong identity for Digbeth. It'll sit overlooking new green infrastructure surrounding it in Pump House Park & adjacent at Duddleston Skypark.

Its artwork facade will now become a permanent installation, with the facade to be commissioned by an artist.

Subject to occupier demand, this will remain flexible until further notice.


Given the site's proximity to the city centre and with major transport connections nearby and with the tram set to run within the area soon, the site will see 7% car parking provision.

Basement parking for 66 is to be provided beneath blocks A-C. 28 of the spaces will be for mobility purposes; cycle storage will be located throughout the site at a rate of 1/per unit.


The 2.5km Duddeston Viaduct Skypark aka 'The Brummie Highline' is a major opportunity to provide a new linear park within Digbeth - and one that will provide a connecting link between UTS and beyond.

The aspiration to turn the disused viaduct park into a 'highline' has long been established within the HS2 Curzon Masterplan and the Big City Plan.

Running along Upper Trinity Street to Montague Street as it does, we'll see high quality public space & event areas. Watch this space for this one!


DEVELOPER: Cole Waterhouse
ARCHITECTS: Corstorphine + Wright/ Exterior Architecture Landscape
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Renaissance Associates 
MECHANICAL & ELECTRICAL (M&E): Novo Integration 
TRANSPORT: Mode Transport Planning
All images are the property of Corstorphine + Wright Architects.
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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
16 Dec 2020 - Stephen Giles


This new redevelopment will see the erection of a 551 unit BTR (build to rent) scheme comprising 8 new buildings on a site bounded by Sherlock Street, in heights of up to 30 storeys. Exciting stuff.


All renderings are the property of Glenn Howells Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
13 Dec 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Ladywood Canalside Scheme Set For Approval

An outline canalside application goes to planning committee next week, with approval recommended - but major changes to the scheme could well be on the way.

Early plans will see the site feature five interconnected blocks of up to 9 storeys, comprising up to 260 apartments - all located on a triangular parcel of land containing a number of dilapidated buildings.


With the demolition of site firmly established back in 2017, the former Auto Service site at Icknield Port Road and Osler Street site includes early plans that could well see five interconnected blocks of up to 9 storeys.

Comprising up to 260 one, two & three-bedroom apartments, the site will see various roof gardens, an internal residents' courtyard, underground car park, and a publicly accessible canal-side terrace.

As it's an outline application, the developer behind these plans, The Rochda Group, only seek approval for access, layout and scale, with matters relating to appearance and landscaping due in reserved matters application form in the near future.

Location: one (Google Maps)
Location: two (Google Maps)

The aim is to create fluid connectivity between the site and the wider area, through an unrestricted publicly assessable walkway from Osler Street to the south, to an area of public amenity, sited to the site’s northern end, in the form of a canal-side terrace.

It could also trigger future development with the potential to connect the walkway with a pedestrian bridge over the canal - providing access directly to the reservoir and the adjacent Port Loop redevelopment.

239 car parking spaces are earmarked–although again, these could well be dropped. Cycle spaces for 269 will too be provided alongside a smattering of EV charging points.


The development has had a viability assessment and has been concluded as being as only ‘marginally viable’ without grant funding–it currently offers zero affordable housing or public open space - but this could change.

Rochda is keen to explore grant funding, which could come from West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), or from an affordable housing provider.

A condition of any potential funding would likely see the provision of a minimum 20% on-site affordable housing.

Either way, even with outline approval, the viability of the scheme will need to be examined if grant funding is indeed secured or amendments to the current design are proposed in the near future (i.e: removal of the underground car park).

Certainly, one to keep an eye out for!

Renderings & drawings from The Rochda Group.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
13 Dec 2020 - Stephen Giles

Gun Quarter: Cliveland House Nearing Completion

Cliveland Street has been transformed in recent years, with residential now lying side-by-side with historic industry & student accommodation.

The latest redevelopment story is Cliveland House, a 6 storey canal-side residential scheme from Elevate Property Group - a development now rapidly nearing completion.


Up until a few years ago, this stretch of the Gun Quarter was nothing more than a lifeless back-end industrial street with little or no footfall.

Today, the dynamic of Cliveland Street has changed for the better, with the street fast becoming one of the most liveable areas in the Gun Quarter.

31 Cliveland House is a contemporary 6-storey residential redevelopment from Cliveland Street (Birmingham) Limited (Elevate Property Group) & Rickett Architects

It comprises 52 one and two-bedroom apartments, rear car-parking for nine, cycle storage for 28, and a courtyard garden adjacent a quaint canal setting.

The development benefits from being within easy reach of the Central Business District, 
Midland Metro Tram & Snow Hill Train Station.

Mossvale Construction was tasked into constructing the scheme and, with the project nearing completion, the canal-side building is now being actively marketed by Knight Frank.



Renderings from Elevate Property Group/Rickett Architects.

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Dec 2020 - Stephen Giles

UPDATE: 5 Centenary Square Now 10 Storeys

Due to market confidence in Birmingham, the landmark office building has now been increased to 10 storeys tall on the back of tenant demand.

Here are the latest renderings for the next building to kick off at Arena Central.


The 10-storey building (264,340K) comprises speculative office space, with top floor external terrace, basement car parking, and the creation of a new public realm.

The development offers large, flexible floorplates with a central core, and will accommodate a variety of tenants: either a single occupier, a few major tenants, or several smaller tenancies.

It'll feature a basement and two levels of rooftop plant rooms on top; alongside a ground floor reception facing onto Centenary Square, with lower and upper ground floor office space to the rear and 8 storeys of office floorspace above.

The basement will contain vehicular parking for 32 cars (including 2 for disabled use), alongside 160 cycle spaces with showers and changing facilities. Access will be taken via a shared ramp from Bridge Street. Charging points for electric vehicles will be added if there is significant demand.

In terms of design, 5CS has been designed as a contemporary interpretation of the Portland stone & granite materials used by listed builds nearby.

Using alternate solid and glazed panels creates a simple, bold chequerboard pattern that emphasises the curved corner, and relates to the context of Centenary Square.

Updated renderings the property of MAKE Architects.

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Dec 2020 - Stephen Giles

NEW: Morville Street Apartments for Ladywood

An application has finally surfaced for the redevelopment of Morville Street, which will see a key marker building built within the forthcoming Ladywood Masterplan.

Follow the post for a quick overview of the site and all the renderings.


It's one we've watched quite closely as it's progressed through pre-application. Now the application has arrived!

This is Morville Street Apartments from Morville Street Properties Ltd (Mark Holbeche of Regal Property Group & William Houle of Trigram Properties).

Located at the corner of Morville Street and Ladywood Middleway, it has been designed by Glancy Nicholls Architects.

  • Demolition of the site;
  • Construction of a new 14-storey apartment block;
  • 80 one/two-bed apartments (41% one/59% two);
  • 2,594sqft roof garden;
  • Community amenity spaces;
  • 'work from home' space;
  • No car parking/ 80 cycles provided instead.

The red brick building has been designed with the placing of two blocks set at points with different angles, and as noted above, it provides a key marker building into the forthcoming Ladywood Masterplan.

All renderings & drawings are the property of Glancy Nicholls Architects

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
26 Nov 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Digbeth Bus Garage, Phase 1, Set For Approval

Exciting plans for the regeneration of Digbeth Bus Garage has taken a major step forward with Phase 1 & the outline plots 2-6 recommended for approval on December 3rd, 2020.

In total, a bustling community containing 1,250 new homes, up to 950 student accommodation, and vibrant ground floor commercial uses, will be formed.


The application not only sees the full planning application of Phase 1: The Metalworks, but also introduces outline plans for plots 2-6, which will arrive in more depth over the coming years.

Spread over two parcels of land (see above), the redevelopment will help trigger wider regeneration growth in the area as supported by the Curzon Masterplan.

At present, the northern parcel is inhabited by National Express as a bus depot, with the southern parcel currently used as a car park.

Collaborating with National Express, HUB Group and their project team have formulated these below plans that will give NE the opportunity to move to new, efficient purpose-built facilities as they move towards an all-electric fleet over the next 10 years.


  • Demolition of existing buildings & structures;
  • Construction of part 7, 12 & 15 storey building;
  • 213 residential units (104 one, 103 two & 6 three bedrooms);
  • 1,375sqm non-residential flexible floorspace at ground floor (retail, food and beverage uses, office, community/cultural and/or leisure);
  • Communal amenity garden for residents at 1st and 7th floors;
  • 32 parking spaces and 222 cycle spaces;
  • 10 affordable units (low cost home ownership at a discount of 20%);
  • 350sqm affordable workspaces at 70% of market rent.

The site includes the demolition of Pandora's, partial demolition of Digbeth Bus Garage and the wall on Liverpool Street (see Google Street Maps).

Large swathes of the existing wall are to be sensitively retained, arches intact, and blended into Plot 1 and any future Plot 4 scheme, and used for commercial purposes.

The tallest element is at the south-east corner of Adderley Street, which rises to 15 storeys, with the central area dropping down to 7 before ascending to 12 storeys at the junction of Liverpool Street.

This the most prominent corner which directly addresses the expected Midland Metro Tram stop in front of the site. The building will undoubtedly set the benchmark for further regeneration in the area.

Besides the apartments, a communal first & landscaped seventh-floor amenity garden will be incorporated, designed intending to create a healthy and altogether sustainable environment to live and work in.

1,375sqm of ground floor commercial frontages will be mixed into the scheme, providing a variety of uses along Liverpool Street and Adderley Street.

These units are likely to house some of the following: a convenience food-store; retail; food and beverage units; offices; community/cultural uses; and/or leisure units. 

These will be subject to occupier demand.


A policy compliant 35% affordable housing has been confirmed as not being financially viable. After careful negotiation, 10 units will be made available across Plot 1, with up to 51 units on Plots 2-6.

Provision for affordable workspaces will also be delivered across a minimum of 50% of the ground floor commercial area across the entire site and will be available at 70% market rent.

Plot 1 will feature 350sqm, with Plots 2 to 6 including a minimum of 1,596sqm and a maximum of 5,050sqm.

Right-click on the below image for a closer look at the phases.

PHASES 2-6: Outline application & subject to more in-depth details (design & resi mix etc) over the coming years.

  • Buildings ranging from 6 to 25 storeys;
  • Up to 950 units of student accommodation;
  • Up to 1,037 residential units (except maybe plots 5 & 6 - see pictures for ref);
  • Student accommodation on Plots 5 & 6;
  • Retail Floorspace between 1,470sqm and 8,725sqm;
  • Office Floorspace of up to 7,080sqm;
  • Community and Cultural Floorspace of up to 1,010sqm;
  • Leisure Floorspace of up to 2,525sqm;
  • Minimum of 1,596sqm and a maximum of 5,050sqm affordable workspaces.

Full in-depth design and thorough mix of residential units will be released in the form of Reserved Matters applications at a later stage.

Indicative heights​:

& following the design code: how the site could look:

ARCHITECTS: shedkm/ Periscope Landscape 
ENERGY: Couch Perry Wilkes (CPW)

Artists Impressions from HUB Group & shedkm

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Construction & regeneration
25 Nov 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Radio House, Sutton Street: Set For Approval

Developer Liv Property Ltd and their in-house architecture firm, Sjolander de Cruz Architects, are bringing forward plans for residential living on Sutton Street - a stone’s throw away from The Mailbox - with the construction of a six-storey new build.

These plans go to Committee on December 3rd, at 11 am, with approval recommended.


Radio House will yield 45 one and two-bedroom apartments, ground floor office space, private and shared amenity spaces, and car & cycle parking.

The current site & its environs are characterised by low-density industrial premises with many sites lying either vacant or under-utilised. The existing building, a former car radio repair workshop, will be demolished.

With residential developments coming forward or completing nearby, the massing of the area is vastly changing, with Liv Property pinpointing Sutton Street as a street with the potential to develop into a liveable part of the city centre.


The site will be rejuvenated to produce a contemporary interpretation of said industrial buildings, whilst acknowledging the future redevelopment of the area.

A simple elevational grid has been adopted alongside large floor to ceiling windows, high ceiling spaces, and exposed concrete and brick walls. The facade will also emphasise recessed brick patterns and vertical brickwork, as seen below.

There's also the potential for public art to be included on the buildings side elevations.

A double-height ground floor office unit (89.7sqm) with mezzanine will front directly onto Sutton Street, with five upper floors of liveable space & a rear wing of the same size.

A residential mix of 17 one & 28 two-bedrooms will be provided alongside 5 mezzanine apartments - with all apartments catering for one, two, three and four persons.

5 (11.1%) of these have been allocated for affordable Low-Cost Home Ownership - this being the amount that can be afforded without impacting on viability and deliverability of the project.

Amenities are too included in the form of a landscaped courtyard space with planting and seating areas; 9 vehicles and a bicycle store for 48 cycles will be arranged here too.

Some occupants will also have the added benefit of private terrace and external balcony spaces.


Plans go to Committee on December 3rd, at 11 am, with approval recommended.

Artists Impressions from Liv Property (Liv Projekt)/Sjolander da Cruz Architects. 

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Construction & regeneration
16 Nov 2020 - Stephen Giles

Construction of 103 Colmore Row - October & November 2020 photo update

103 Colmore Row is certainly looking superb!

Take our October & November update feature from Daniel and Reiss, contributors at It’s Your Build and Birmingham We Are, and loyal followers of the built environment in Birmingham.



Photos by Daniel Sturley

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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Construction & regeneration
15 Nov 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Priory House Resi Conversion Set For Approval

Rainier Developments and Corstorphine + Wright Architects are bringing forward plans for the conversion of Priory House, Southside, into residential usage - which will also see £200K of improvements to the Gay Village.

Plans go to Planning Committee on the 19th of November, at 11 am, with approval recommended.


Priory House represents an industrial building of architectural interest.

Built in the 1950s, it was last used as a forensic science lab but has unfortunately lain empty for 8 years, with the previous owner only recently surrendering the lease back in 2019.


Lying at the junction of Kent Street and Gooch Street North, the proposal seeks to deliver 79 new homes complete with internal and external residents’ amenity spaces, along with secure car and cycle parking areas.

The building will be revitalised to provide a heavy mix of one & two-bedroom homes, in a range of one/two/three/four-person apartments & duplex townhouses. It will also feature a handful of three-bedroom ‘family homes’ - seven of them will be provided.

37 one-bedroom apartments (one & two-person); 35 two-bedroom apartments (three & four-person); and 7 three-bedroom (four-person) apartment units will be delivered overall.

These townhouses will be situated along Kent Street. All three will be double-height duplexes, each with their own individual entrance & stair. 

The exterior of the building itself will be maintained but repaired to retain its character. New windows will be installed along with roof level changes to incorporate a lift overrun.


A plethora of residents amenities are also on offer, predominately at basement level (98sqm), with additional spaces at ground floor & a 330sqm external courtyard area.

Apartments facing this space will also have the added benefit of private gardens—snazzy!

Given the location, 10 car parking spaces, along with space for 98 cycles will be available at basement level and these will be accessed via Gooch Street North.


The application is supported for approval subject to a S106 legal agreement - this includes £200K contributions directed towards public realm improvements in the village, with improved CCTV & enhanced street lighting—with the applicant more than willing to help with this.

As the proposal features the conversion of build and has no new buildings, the scheme isn’t required to make an affordable housing contribution.

Over the years developments have drawn many objections owing to the potential harming and vitality of the Gay Village; Priory House, with a blank wall to licensed premises, is deemed to be of a safe distance away to possess any actual harm, although it will implement suitable noise mitigation measures going forward.

Artists Impressions from Corstorphine+Wright Architects

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Construction & regeneration
13 Nov 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

MODA's 722 BTR Scheme at Great Charles Street Set For Approval

Plans for a 722 build-to-rent apartment complex on 'the bomb site' in the Jewellery Quarter have moved closer to being realised, with Great Charles Street recommended for approval.

Plans will go forward to next week’s Planning Committee on November 18th 2020, at 11 am.


MODA Living and Apache Capital Partners’ second development in the city will see a new mixed-use scheme of 722 build-to-rent apartments at Great Charles Street.

Ryder Architecture has meticulously designed the scheme to provide a transition between the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area and the city core.

It’ll feature three new-build blocks of 5-6 storeys, 6-16, and a signature 39-storey (126.15m) tower. 

The apartment mix will deliver a healthy 372 one, 315 two, and 35 three-bedroom apartments, in a range of types and sizes.

Broken down, this will accommodate 158 one bed (one person) apartments (42- 45sqm); 213 one bed (two-person) apartments (50sqm); 315 two-bed apartments (70- 86sqm); and 35 three-bed units (93- 113sqm).

To keep the development viable, 5% (36 units) of on-site affordable housing provision at a 20% discount will be allocated. These will comprise 18 one-bedroom (two-person) & 18 two-bedroom (four-person) apartments.


MODA actively promote healthy, socially connected living for all of their residents; with an abundance of state-of-the-art amenities on offer across all of their projects, and this one will be no different.

Residents will have access to lounges, health and wellbeing facilities, a cinema room, open-air rooftop terraces, landscaped private and public gardens, 24/7 concierge service, and flexible workspaces.

Away from the building aspect, improvements to the public realm around the site will feature a brand new plaza and arrival space, with upgraded footways, tree planting, and the addition of street furniture.

The setback 39-storey tower will, too, incorporate an amenity area at the foot of the building, and on the 16th floor - with the massing of the building punctuated with this space, as seen in the renderings.

With a top-notch design to boot, MODA has arguably raised the bar for amenities and design in Birmingham, with other developers in the city playing catch up.


Pivotal. The intention here is to create a vibrant site that not only complements its surroundings, but one that enhances the hustle and bustle (pre and post-Covid) of the surrounding area.

The aim is to turn this site into a go-to destination with public-friendly frontages with an eclectic range of uses.

All units will be on the lower and upper ground floors of the site’s perimeter.

Many boutique bars, retail units and/or independent cafe's and restaurants could well move here - these will come forward later on down the line. Other uses will include health and wellbeing, workspace and leisure units. 


Birmingham City Council has long pushed for a strategically placed, well-designed landmark building at the corner of Great Charles Street & Livery Street, as per the framework documents of the Big City Plan (2011) and Snow Hill Masterplan (2015).

The massing of the 6-16 storey building largely helps ingratiate the tower into the development, without being overly excessive to the surrounding area - although some might think otherwise.

MODA had initially opened negotiations with a 55-storey, however, this was deemed too excessive for the area, and rightly so.

So let’s take a brief look at how the site has been set up.

Lionel Street above and below (Block C) has been designed to complement and reflect the fabric of the Jewellery Quarter, with its proportions, fenestration and brickwork.

Again, along Ludgate Hill, we’ll see a transition, with the sympathetically designed builds at the back soon making way for a stepped-up approach as you head towards Great Charles Street Queensway; this is to support the relationship of the emerging Snow Hill District mentioned earlier.


Access will be a fluid one, with locations earmarked for the corners of Ludgate Hill/ Lionel Street and Great Charles Street/ Livery Street. It’s here where the site’s reception facilities and MODA staff will be.

The development will, of course, replace a 200+ car park and, given the location of the site, Great Charles Street will provide 41 car parking spaces & 4 EV (electric vehicle charging points).

4 motorcycle bays and 462 secure cycle storage are provided too, with provision for more if needed.

It is acknowledged that there will be an impact on local heritage assets. However, it is widely accepted that the public benefits outweigh these.

The development is therefore recommended for approval subject to a Section 111 Agreement to secure: 36 on-site affordable apartments; £960K public realm; repaving of pavements in Staffordshire blue brick and repaving of Great Charles Street to a value of £605,000; a contribution of £30,000 towards improvements to and/or maintenance of the Great Charles Street subway; provision of CCTV; and the creation of service lay-bys/ taxi drop off/ signage/ street furniture to a value of £210,000. Exciting stuff!

DeveloperMODA Living
PartnersApache Capital Partners
ArchitectsRyder ArchitectureOobe Landscape
Project ManagerRPS Group
Structural EngineerWSP
MEP EngineerTate Consulting
Quantity SurveyorArcadis

Words by Stephen Giles with artists' Impressions from Ryder Architecture & Oobe Landscape


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Construction & regeneration
12 Nov 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Prosperity's 58-66 Darwin Street Set For Approval

Prosperity Developments and K4 Architects are bringing forward plans for a residential scheme of 116 apartments on land at 58-66 Darwin Street, Highgate.

Plans go to Planning Committee on the 18th of November, at 11 am, with approval recommended.



Lying on a very steep Darwin Street in the Highgate area of the city, the scheme resides within the recently adopted Rea Valley Urban Quarter boundary.

116 one and two-bedroom apartments are proposed here; providing 45 one-bed, 67 two-bed & 4 three-bedroom apartments–in a range one person to four-person properties.

Several will also benefit from private terrace spaces.

Residents’ outdoor amenity will lie amply within two areas of the development; one to the rear, and a roof terrace area on the Darwin Street frontage. These have been meticulously devised to avoid the threat of overlooking and overshadowing on neighbouring properties.

Also, off-site amenities include that of Highgate Park, a mere stone’s throw away.

The apartment block itself is broken into three separate elements and has been formed in response to the falling topography of the area.

At its peak, the building reaches up to seven floors before dropping and varying between 5 and 6 storeys when observed from Darwin Street as the ground-level falls.

Ground floor level will see a series of walls and rails providing defensible space along with a recessed two-storey dark brick base which will be beneath the upper floors. Those upper floors will be clad in dark corrugated metal cladding or vertical zinc standing seam cladding - these are likely to be secured by condition.

24 car-parking spaces & disabled bays will be allocated on-site, representing a 21% provision.

This has sparked a 13 signature petition from residents who believe the street is already the subject of high parking pressure, with Calthorpe Academy and a residential estate adjacent.

Regarding cycle parking, a full 100% provision is included and will be positioned within the basement of the scheme.

The proposal will also contain 12 'affordable' apartments in the form of low-cost-market housing with a discount of 25% on market value.

With a strong industrial past, the site has recently in the last year undergone demolition works as the full planning application evolved behind the scenes with planning officers. 

Plans are recommended for approval subject to the prior completion of a Section 106 legal agreement to secure the 12 affordable dwellings.

*All renderings are the property of K4 Architects.

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Construction & regeneration
03 Nov 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

'Projekt 55' Conversion Set For Approval

55 Holloway Head is set for a new lease of life with conversion into apartments, along with upward extensions & the construction of townhouses - delivering 131 new homes.

Plans are recommended for approval on November 5th.




The former 1958 flatted factory building, one of just a few remaining in the city and deemed as having architectural value - particularly internally, is currently under-utilised.

Plans will see two carefully considered extensions, with 3 extra floors on Blucher Street, and 5 floors of accommodation facing Holloway Head, taking the building up to 12 storeys tall and delivering 122 apartments, in a mix of 47 one, 65 two, and 10 three-bedrooms.

To provide reanimated frontages onto the street, two flexible double-height ground floor commercial units (80- 238 sqm in size) will be formed.

Nine three-bed, four-storey contemporary townhouses (141 sqm) will also be constructed on Chapmans Passage, each with their own private terrace spaces–with the overall project providing 131 apartments.

Holloway 55 Ltd (Claremont Property Group) is behind plans, with K4 Architects as the architect.


Shared facilities will be the name of the game here, with the development set to feature an entrance lobby with concierge desk, lounge seating and post room; business lounge: a professional, co-working space; gym; and multi-functional community space (i.e..: for meetings, relaxation, events, films, parties, etc.).

A wide range of price-points and apartment sizes (57 sqm- 135 sqm) catering for every need will be available - with the development also offering residents’ winter gardens, and private/ shared roof terraces.

All external elevations are to be stripped back and encased in brick slips & new aluminium framed windows.


Cycle parking is to be provided throughout, with 11 car parking spaces set to be retained - these will be accessed via gates off Chapmans Passage.

Thirteen low-cost home ownership apartments, containing 5 one-bed, 7 two-bed & 1 three-bedroom, will be obtainable at 20% discount on market value - all subject to a Section 111 legal agreement.


55 Holloway Head: Google Street Maps


Approval is recommended for this one, with plans going forward to Birmingham City Council's Planning Committee on November 5th, at 11am.

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Construction & regeneration
22 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Reinvention

Birmingham’s famous Repertory Theatre is set to undergo dramatic new works that’ll see a new striking new entrance on the iconic façade - and in turn securing the long-term future of the company!


The remodelling of its front of house areas aims to produce a more permeable façade and open plan layout internally – one that engages with the outside public and ultimately increase footfall.

Approved in December 2019, The REP are aiming for a 2021 completion date to coincide with the celebration of its 50th anniversary on Centenary Square. 


The REP, like many arts organisations, has suffered against the backdrop of untimely funding cuts, meaning that this project is absolutely vital as it strives to become financially sustainable; the remodelling has been designed to increase footfall, which in turn will help increase revenues.

What a time to re-invent given the other significant regeneration projects within the area -namely Centenary Square, the Arena Central redevelopment, and Symphony Hall. 

In addition to the new entrance, works will see the introduction of external balconies, two free-standing feature structures, illuminated signage, digital screens, and enhanced forecourt landscaping works.

Internally, alterations to public areas will see the creation of informal performance spaces, improved orientation, an upgrade to the current bar and catering, as well as the introduction of a new restaurant on the first floor and other such units.

Existing floor plans: (Right click for a closer look)

Approved floor plans: (Right click for a closer look)


The architects behind the scheme, APEC, consulted in-depth during the planning process, and even contacted the buildings original designer, Graham Winteringham, 92, who pointed out that a central entrance was originally considered but was ultimately ruled out due to the location of a pool of water in a civic square that was never realised. Second times a charm!

Words by Stephen, with RIBA 3 images (subject to change) from APEC Architects.

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Construction & regeneration
21 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles


'The Triangle' in Selly Oak will transform a neglected former Sainsbury's site into a lively new student & community-driven development.

Three new blocks will be erected, delivering 1187 units, student communal facilities, ground floor commercial & publicly accessible community floorspace. Exciting stuff!


The site is bordered by Chapel Lane, Harborne Lane and Bristol Road in Selly Oak – otherwise known as the former Sainsbury's site, which has sat derelict since November 2018.

Once demolished, the site will be subdivided into three new brick blocks, with heights varying between 4 to 12 storeys tall, separated by landscaped courtyard space.


Phase 1 will deliver 635 units in Block A along with community space, flexible unit(s), student amenity and courtyard spaces.

Phase 2 will then complete the remaining 552 student bedrooms and facilities.

Accommodation will typically be arranged into cluster, studios, standard & premium en-suites.

These builds have been devised to respond to their near neighbours, with each emphasising a stepped-up approach in height across all blocks. Taller builds will be strategically placed at key corners.

Materiality and facade works remain unswerving throughout - as the below renderings will show.


Shared amenity spaces will be available at ground floor level - located within Blocks A & B, with A also featuring a communal terrace on the 5th floor and a possible water feature within the courtyard.

The site will offer a wide-ranging mix of private and a semi-public realm with outdoor amenity for students. A public area of accessible open space will also be allocated for community use - aptly created around the retained 'Selly Oak' tree.

Other facilities include a gym, cycle hub, cafe, canteen, lobby, FM room, games room, laundry, and spacious study areas.

A total of 45 accessible wheelchair accommodation will be combined across all blocks.




View down the internal street between Blocks A & B:

View of the arrival off Chapel Lane:



The inclusion of a cycle hub will provide safe long-stay & short-stay storage areas - with long-stay containing 235 cycles in Block A, and 61 in Block C - totaling 296 bicycle spaces. Short-stay provision site-wide is expected to provide 30 more.

The Triangle will predominately be a car-free affair, other than ‘drop-offs’ and ‘pick-ups’ for taxis and students at the beginning and end of terms; 27 short-stay spaces will be offered, along with 4 permanent blue badge disabled spaces. 

The project is to be managed by Hines' student operator ‘Aparto’.


DEVELOPER: HPH Selly Oak Property Ltd (Hines & Henderson Park JV)
ARCHITECTS: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris/ & Bradley Murphy Design
PROJECT MANAGER: Avison Young Second London Wall
QUANTITY SURVEYOR: Turner and Townsend
PCSA CONTRACTOR: Bowmer + Kirkland

Words by Stephen Giles, with artists' impressions from AHMMBradley Murphy Design.

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Construction & regeneration
21 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles


Plans have arrived for the world's tallest pure octagonal residential tower - right here in Birmingham!

Located at Paradise, this new unique landmark build-to-rent tower will rise to 49-storeys tall (155m). 


The Octagon will deliver 346 spacious new petal-shaped homes (57sqm-117sqm), with up to eight to a floor getting their own uninterrupted panoramic views of the city.

The mix will provide 170 one, 168 two and 8 three-bed units. with a number of affordable apartments also available for rent.

Communal spaces and resident amenities will be prominently situated at the entrance of the building, with uses set to feature a café/deli, reception area, gymnasium, wellness hub, co-working space, cycle hub, storage areas, and lounges.

Crucially, the new vibrant space will open up to a landscaped courtyard within Paradise - ultimately driving footfall through the evolving redevelopment.


Designed by Birmingham-based architects, Glenn Howells, with landscaping coming from global landscaping firm, Grant Associates, Octagon will feature eight equal facades - delivering the purest octagonal form, with the building's frame punctuated by large 10.5m horizontal windows opening up apartments to panoramic views of the city. 

With Council House, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG), and the Grade-II listed, Alpha Tower, all in close proximity, the exterior has been designed to give off a warm tone to reflect its historic surroundings.

The project is being brought forward through Paradise Circus Limited Partnership (PCLP), a private-public joint venture with Birmingham City Council. Argent is development manager, with private sector funding managed by Federated Hermes.


Octagon will be brought forward independently of all the other phases, but it is still considered part of Phase 2 within the masterplan. 

Demolition of 77 Paradise Circus Queensway will commence in 2021 followed by construction. Works are anticipated to take three years, with a 2024 completion date.

Words by Stephen Giles, with renderings from Glenn Howells Architects & Paradise Birmingham.


Client: Argent
Architect: Glenn Howells Architects
Landscape Architect Grant Associates
Project Manager & Quantity Surveyor: Quantem
Planning Consultant: Turley
Structural Engineer: Arup
Mechanical & Electrical: Arup
Civil Engineer: Arup
Acoustic Engineer: Arup
Fire Engineer: Arup
Facade Consultant: Wintech Group
Lighting Consultant: Spiers And Major
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Construction & regeneration
15 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

The Square: New Revised Plans Set For Approval

NEW revised designs have gone in for The Square, Broad Street - it's also recommended for approval on October 22nd.

440 apartments will be constructed within two adjoined builds of 35 (110.85m) and 6 storeys. A standalone hotel building will also be incorporated - providing 229 rooms over 8 storeys. 


The Square will be introduced into the emerging Broad Street cluster and will offer a new yardstick for community living in the city.

It's being brought forward by 2020 Living Ltd, a vehicle used by Taylor Grange Developments, and has been designed by Corstorphine + Wright.


These latest plans, which are now set for approval, will see the demolition of a site deemed unsuitable for commercial tenants and the construction of a 35 storey tower with 6 storey shoulder & one storey podium - all containing 440 rented apartments, plant, storage, reception, communal amenities and cycle parking.

A standalone, 229-bed, 8 storey, 3* mid-market hotel building (white building below) will be built too, located on Grosvenor Street West, delivering flexible commercial ground floor commercial (dining & bar) and private external space.

The revised design will deliver a clean and robust tower using a simple palette that will soon offer something different for Broad Street.


A multitude of uses will be on offer here as part of the rented package, with secure unprecedented access to top-of-the-range internal and external amenity offerings.

Both residential builds will be adjoined via a shared podium; amenities will feature a 200m running track within the courtyard, wellbeing facilities, gym & café space, cinema/party room, dining and lounge areas, a crèche, plus work and meeting spaces.

The inner courtyard will provide external green space offering different zones to either work or play.

It will become a place to encourage wellbeing and healthy activity, whether through exercise regimes or just a place to chill out and relax in the outdoor seating areas.

Additional external spaces will be provided within at the top of the 35-storey, in the form of a tenants club; the space with also feature a transparent facade providing subtle lighting.

The hotel will include flexible ground floor commercial and will most likely contain bar/ restaurant space. A clear through route will be created that’ll link into the courtyard for shared amenities between residents and guests. 


The scheme is liable for a CIL payment of circa. £2.179m for the residential element and 225K for the hotel.

In addition to that, an independently accessed viability statement has concluded that a total of 4 apartments (1%) is the most the scheme can sustain without impacting on the viability and deliverability of the scheme. These will be provided at 80% of market rent.


The site is on the doorstep of the West Midlands Metro Tram. For that reason alone, four EV (electric vehicle) bays will be provided on site. 

168 cycle spaces will be accessible within the tower together with a dedicated cycle workshop. Hotel users will also be allocated additional space.

Plans are recommended for approval on Thursday October 22nd, at 11am.

Words by Stephen Giles, with artists impressions from Corstorphine+Wright.

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Construction & regeneration
08 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: 37-42 Tenby Street Approved

A prominent area within the Industrial Middle of the Jewellery Quarter has today been given the go-ahead to be redeveloped after plans were formally approved 6-5 at Planning Committee today (October 8th 2020).


37-42 Tenby Street, a development from Rainier Developments & BDP Architects, is home to one of the most distinguished Jewellery Quarter businesses remaining today: Charles Green and Son.

Plans will now see the plot redeveloped with the erection of a new 4-storey build erected containing 37 apartments, commercial units and crucially, modern new premises for the company.

Designed to give the appearance of three slightly different linked buildings to the site frontages, the tallest element will be situated on the corner block at the junction of Tenby Street and Albion Street, where the building will be the full 4-storeys tall, plus mezzanine, with pitched roof.


With a history dating back to 1824, Charles Green and Son have come to the conscious conclusion that their current premises are too big for operations, and are no longer fit for modern manufacturing and business practices.

The granting of redevelopment ultimately safeguards their long-term future, whilst confirming one of Birmingham's long-term businesses stays for many years to come. They will lease their new premises on reduced rent for a minimum of 15 years.

Fronting Tenby Street, the plot will extend the full depth of the land in the form of a shopping wing. A range of workshops, production space and storage facilities will be delivered alongside first floor offices in a part mezzanine area. 

On the street frontage there will be a reception, open plan office space, boardroom, kitchen, four workshop spaces, and a history and gallery space.

With approval secured prior to a Section 106 agreement, the development will see the replacement unit for Charles Green & Son completed first prior to the residential aspect.


Next door will see 2,154 sqm of residential floorspace created, delivering one, two and duplex apartments, in a range of 15 one (41sqm- 45sqm), 18 two (61sqm- 66sqm) and 4 duplex (87- 103 sqm) apartments; with two ground floor commercial units (one for Charles Green), and one on the corner facing onto Tenby Street and Albion Street - as seen below.

5% has been allocated for low cost market dwellings – provided at 20% discount. 

First, second and third floors will provide one & two bed apartments, with skylight and dormer windows on the upper floors. Duplexes are offered on the ground floor, each with their own individual entrance facing onto Tenby Street, as well as one on Albion Street.

They also contain mezzanine levels. At the rear a small courtyard area will be accessed from Albion Street.


Ground floor facing the courtyard will facilitate double-tiered cycle storage for 48 spaces as well as bin storage and plant.

No car parking is provided, although the Charles Green vehicle access point has been designed to feasibly accommodate a small van.


Despite concerns on the effect the overall scheme would have on its settings, it was agreed that the benefits outweigh the harm identified. 

Refusing the application would have left the poorly designed building in the JQ for many more years to come, with the possibility of Charles Green & Son even folding, or potentially move elsewhere.

However, a planning balance was struck and plans are free to proceed with conditions in place. Approved 6-5.

Words by Stephen Giles, with artists impressions from BDP Architects

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Construction & regeneration
07 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: Birmingham Hippodrome

A major overhaul of Birmingham’s famous Hippodrome theatre has been given full approval.

Works on the theatre will now see major refurbishment and extension works to the Hurst Street façade, along with upgraded foyer and public spaces.


Planned to start in 2021, the makeover will introduce a broader, more audience focused cultural affair that will inspire public use throughout the day. The theatre will also feature improved pedestrian accessibility around Hippodrome Square, which will include a new secondary entrance on Inge Street.

New food and beverage offerings will be provided at street level - with outdoor seating & retractable awning, as well as a restaurant on the third floor, with the rest of the building including open-air terrace space, small-scale performance spaces, teaching and educational facilities. 

A state-of-the-art digital media screen will be prominently located directly above the main entrance, increasing the theatre’s presence and advertising its diverse programme.


Ground: New food and beverage offerings;

First: Dedicated rehearsal space;

Second: Two designated performance spaces & exhibition room;

Third: Restaurant, rehearsal and external balcony space;

Four: Admin, new rehearsal space and provision for a bar.

Words by Stephen Giles, with artists impressions from the architect, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

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