Stephen J. Giles

Passion Points: 14K

Construction & regeneration
04 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles

Snow Hill Wharf - July & August Update

Excellent progress is being made on the brickwork across the site, with the tower now progressing to level 14, to the point where it is beginning to make an appearance on the skyline.

Click view full post for another fabulous update from Stephen, with new visuals of The Regent - The Gun Quarters tallest residential tower.


The final phase of Snowhill Wharf was released this week.

The Regent, as it will be known, will be the Gun Quarters tallest residential tower - standing at 21 storeys tall (220 feet).

It currently resides on floor 14 - as the below pictures will show.

Backing up onto the canal system, The Regent will deliver a total of 108 one- and two-bedroom apartments, and even includes two top floor penthouses.

New visuals have officially been released this week, showing how the project sits within its new surroundings and the draw dropping views residents will have of the skyline.

UPDATE: August 1-4

The Colmore:

The Fazeley:

The Lancaster & The Barker:

From left to right: The Barker, The Lancaster, The Regent, The Colmore.

July 21

Words and photos by Stephen Giles, with artists impressions from Berkeley Group.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

Share  Connect with us
20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Construction of 103 Colmore Row - July and August 2020

The structural steelwork has officially been constructed at the top of the building, with the elegant glass facade quickly catching up, and it's looking pristine. However, the best is yet to come!

Click the post for a tremendous gallery of update photos from Daniel, Stephen, and Elliott. 


As the pictures show, the steelwork has reached the top floor, with the buildings stylish facade rapidly coming along.

The next phase of development will see the design & manufacturing of the glass facade (Focchi Group) for the top floor lantern restaurant, where restaurateurs will benefit from 8 metre high ceilings & breath-taking 360o views of the city. We cannot wait!

Enjoy the update.

1st August:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

31st July:

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

29th July:

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

25th July:

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

Photos by Elliott Brown.

24th July:


Photos by Daniel Sturley

21st July

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

103 Colmore Row

Photos by Elliott Brown.

21st July:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

18 July:

103 Colmore Row

Photos by Elliott Brown.

TWITTER: @Buildsweare

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
24 Jul 2020 - Stephen Giles

The Construction of Symphony Hall - July 2020

Designed to reconnect the city through the world class musical offerings at Symphony Hall, the new development is already a prominent new addition to Centenary Square.

Click 'view full post' for a wonderful set of images showcasing the development, with pictures from Stephen, Elliott and Daniel.

TWITTER: Buildsweare

22nd July:

Photos by Stephen Giles

20th July:

Photos by Daniel Sturley

14th July:

Photos by Elliott Brown


A new application has surfaced showcasing revised plans for the metal gates/ decorated screens incorporating signage. These can be seen below:

The latest proposed artists impressions from Page/Park Architects.

DEVELOPER: Birmingham Performances Ltd
ARCHITECTS: Page\Park Architects 
CONTRACTOR: Galliford Try Construction
PROJECT MANAGER: David Stanley Consulting
TWITTER: Buildsweare

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
14 Jul 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Gun Quarter Projects: The Crown Works

If the Jewellery Quarter is the cool-kid, then the Gun Quarter is the dark sheep of the city. We take a look at the latest development to hit the Gun Quarter: The Crown Works. Recommended for approval on July 16th.



Recommendation: Approval

Brought forward by Czero Developments, The Crown Works is a BTR (Build to Rent) development of 203 one, two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses designed for modern city living, in an up and coming area of Birmingham.

Historically, the Gun Quarter (aka St. George & St. Chad) was at the heart of the world’s gun-manufacturing industry, and whilst it still creates, nowadays the area is changing in character and density, with new industrial style apartments and student digs.

Located on an unkempt stretch of Hanley Street/Lower Loveday Street, The Crown Works will deliver a sustainable new community that enhances the historic nature of the area, by providing a total of 91 one, 99 two and 13 three bedroom apartments - all exclusively for rent.

20 (10%) of the units are to be provided for low cost market rent at a 20% discount of market rent - comprising of 9 one bed & 11 two bedroom apartments. 

Birmingham Interactive Development Map

The development will range from 4-8 storeys tall and will comprise of shared landscaped gardens, public and private roof terraces, co-working spaces and two flexible ground floor commercial units.

It has been designed by London-based Claridge Architects – the architectural practice behind Timber Yard and Soho Loop.

Their design is contextual and has been formulated to offer a modern, enhanced interpretation of the area.

VIEWS: Looking up Summer Lane

All residents will have undiluted access to the facilities on offer, including: co-working space; an exercise studio; dining & meeting rooms; 970 sq.m of landscaped shared amenity space & a 290 sq.m landscaped roof garden.

19% of the apartments will profit from private amenity space.

This is the site as we know it today:

Summer Lane: Google Street Maps

...and how it'll look;

The above model shows the Summer Lane frontage, as well as the stepped down approach on Lower Loveday Street to the right.

The lower element has been designed to sympathetically reduce the impact on the locally listed building next door on Lower Loveday Street.

VIEWS: Lower Loveday Street looking towards Summer Lane

Here we see the massing increasing from 4 to 6 floors, before the tallest element reaches 8 storeys facing onto Summer Lane. The colour palette will be predominantly red/ brown brick tones.

The below model showcases the Hanley Street block elevation; this is a distinct one in that it introduces pitched roof space, which breaks up the scale of the massing.

It’s been designed to provide a contemporary interpretation of the areas industrial grain.

The pitched building will feature green/grey stock brick. This will go a long way to complimenting the red brick tones of the adjacent block. Decorative glazed ceramic spandrel panels will adorn the upper floors.


Lower ground floor:

The scheme provides two flexible commercial spaces, with uses set to be decided by user demand. Access into the site will be located on Summer Lane, but will come with secondary accesses on Hanley Street and Lower Loveday Street.

Vehicular parking will be accessed off Hanley Street, where 29 cars, including 4 accessible spaces and electric charging points will be offered. 2 car parking spaces will be allocated for car sharing schemes. In addition, the proposal provides space for 11 motorcycles.

204 cycle parking spaces, with workshop space, will be included, and these will be split into two enclosed cycle stores. 

Ground floor:

On the ground floor, residents are met with a double height reception lobby with concierge. Services here include a fitness studio, co-working and meeting/dining space, plus the landscaped courtyard.

Upper floors:

Floors 1-5 of The Crown Works are fundamentally alike, with a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments.

Sixth floor: 

Here, the sixth floor offers duplex apartments and a fabulous array of private amenity space for those lucky enough to be occupying the upper floors. 

Roof terrace:


The development site encompasses the Birmingham City Council 'Clean Air Zone', which aims to improve air quality through discouraging polluting vehicles from entering the City Centre. This will likely come into play across the city from 2021.

Back in 2017, Xian Developments came forward with an outline application for the site: this was withdrawn, before bursting back onto the scene with a full planning application - this was refused at committee for noise related issues, with objections from nearby companies.

Fast-forward to today and whilst there is a chance residents could complain about noise, it is worth noting that rooms are now located to the quieter courtyard side - making this application vastly different from the 2017 one.

The adjacent factory supplies parts to Jaguar Land Rover; they have now decided to relocate, thus potentially eliminating any obstacle. The factory will linger, however, but with no tenant.

‘CAZ’ is coming into effect: will companies want to pay £50 a day to drive a HGV into the City Centre?

The Crown Works goes to Planning Committee on July 16th at 11am.

Artists Impressions: Claridge Architects
TWITTER: @Buildsweare

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
14 Jul 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

New Digbeth Residential Project: 176-183 Moseley Street

A new 131-bed apartment scheme in Digbeth goes to Planning Committee later this week - and it's recommended for approval. This is 176-183 Moseley Street.



Recommendation: Approval subject to a S106 agreement

Brought forward by Euro Property Investments, 176-183 Moseley Street is a PRS (Private Rental Scheme) development of 131 one, two and duplex apartments in the ever-evolving Digbeth district of Birmingham.

Positioned at the junction of Moseley Street and Alcester Street, the development will see demolition of a rundown industrial site before a part 6, part 7 storey new build can commence.

The development encompasses the emerging Rea Valley Urban Quarter (more below) and will be set around a landscaped internal courtyard, with apartments boasting balconies and open terraces.

Birmingham Interactive Development Map

Yeme Architects have designed this contemporary apartment block, with the project framed to maximise the potential of the site by aiding much-needed regeneration.

The mix of apartments will deliver a total of 66 one and 65 two & duplex bedroom units; with the proposal meeting a wide range of housing needs through the addition of larger duplex units, and a range of sizes for the one and two bedroom apartments. 

The new development will repair the damage caused by the current crop of buildings by redefining the street and bringing a much needed visual benefit to the area.

The massing will been subdivided into distinct blocks to help reduce its scale on adjacent streets. It'll wrap entirely around the footprint of the site, allowing for a communal courtyard facility, with balcony space; each unit will have some element of private outdoor space, be it balcony or terrace.

Given the proximity to the Eastside-leg of the Midland Metro Tram - set to kick off in 2021, provision has been made for 188 secure cycle spaces and just 19 vehicles. Both will be situated on the lower ground floor, accessed via Moseley Street.

Two pedestrian access points will be included - the first from Moseley Street via steps, and the second from Alcester Street, where access to the inner courtyard will be provided. Lifts will serve all floor levels.

Interestingly, Birmingham City Council's Transportation Department have requested a S278 agreement requesting a new footway crossing and a redundant one reinstated prior to development being occupied.


The developer has explained that their return would not be sufficient to support 35% affordable housing, and one that would make the development unviable.

Nevertheless, 13 Low Cost Home Ownership dwellings (8 one & 5 two bed) will be available at 80% of market value – providing a minimum of 10% on site affordable housing.


The existing site contains poor quality buildings and a large forecourt ruled by car parking.

Small wholesale, manufacturing and retail businesses currently operate from these units. Plans will result in the loss/relocation of 6 businesses - a loss of circa.20 jobs.


The Rea Valley Urban Quarter SPD encompasses the front part of this site, and offers a once-in-a-lifetime prospect for the City.

But what is it? 

It's an aspiration that seeks to create a linear park/green leafy space spanning the length of Moseley Street, eventually linking up with the future Smithfield redevelopment & Highgate Park.

It will attempt to eradicate vehicular traffic other than for access to properties along Moseley Street and endorse increased footfall along the route.

The River Rea is a notoriously under-utilised asset in the city and one with the potential to act as a major catalyst for high-quality regeneration schemes.

Aspirations include opening-up the river bank to create an exceptional public space with sustainable new residential and commercial developments either side.

And this is where 176-183 Moseley Street comes in. Due to the location, the design response from Yeme has seen the building set-back to incorporate greenery and, together with balcony spaces facing the street, reflects the future ambitions for the creation of a green and active street.

You can read the draft document here:

176-183 Moseley Street goes to Planning Committee on July 16th 2020.

Words by Stephen Giles with artists Impressions from Yeme Architects.

TWITTER: @Buildsweare

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Jul 2020 - Stephen Giles

The Construction of Snow Hill Wharf - June 2020

Update! Fab movement at Snow Hill Wharf - the Gun Quarter’s newest development that will bring a much needed 420 apartments to the area.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

Superb images once more from Stephen and Reiss - two guys who have been following SHW from the start. For a full June update, with renders and info regarding the development - hit the link below.

Artists Impression from GRID Architects/ Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher

There's been excellent progress on site since the site recommenced after lockdown. The main tower, which will rise to 21 storeys, is now presiding on its 11th floor.

Three of the four smaller blocks have now officially reached their full height and fabulous new feature roofs are being applied.

Brickwork also continues at a steady pace across the blocks.⁣


Photos by Stephen Giles

June 17th:

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry


Brought forward by prominent developer, Berkeley Homes, Snow Hill Wharf will deliver five new buildings, with a 21-storey tower, comprising 420 one, two and three bedroom apartments; these will yield a total of 185 one, 215 two & 20 three bedrooms.

Snow Hill Wharf will facilitate three landscaped podium gardens and residents-only facilities, featuring a gymnasium, sauna, steam room, cinema and lounge. 143 car parking spaces are provided, including 5 EV, and space for 420 bicycles.

Artists Impressions from GRID Architects & Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher

Snow Hill Wharf is scheduled to complete in early 2022.

Words by Stephen Giles. Pictures by Stephen & Reiss Gordon-Henry

TWITTER: Buildsweare

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
29 Jun 2020 - Stephen Giles

Construction of Symphony Hall - June 2020

A new milestone has been achieved at Symphony Hall with the installation of glass. For a full June update with pictures from Stephen, Daniel and new updated proposals from Page/Park Architects, click the full post below.



26th/27th June:

Photos by Stephen Giles

June 14th:

Photos by Daniel Sturley


A new application has surfaced showcasing revised plans for the metal gates/ decorated screens incorporating signage. These can be seen below:

The latest proposed artists impressions from Page/Park Architects.

DEVELOPER: Birmingham Performances Ltd
ARCHITECTS: Page\Park Architects 
CONTRACTOR: Galliford Try Construction
PROJECT MANAGER: David Stanley Consulting
Words by Stephen Giles. Photos by Daniel Sturley & Stephen.

We're also on Instagram: Follow us at @Itsyourbirmingham

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
11 Jun 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - Our early June 2020 Update

The steel structure has now reached the top end of the core and is almost at the stage of topping out. Elsewhere, the two outer 'slabs' are now at full height.

Take our article for over 40 fantastic photos of this amazing new build.


"Over the next two weekends (weather permitting) we bid a fond farewell to Tower Crane A. Another big milestone in the project as we enter the final 12 months of construction" - SPV

Staircase frame is reminiscent of New York's Vessel.

Here's how work has progressed throughout end May through early June.


8th june

Photos by Daniel Sturley

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
People & community
05 Jun 2020 - Stephen Giles


Stand up Birmingham! Thousands peacefully gathered in the city yesterday from all different communities and backgrounds to show solidarity with those fighting for justice and black lives everywhere.



Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Construction & regeneration
04 Jun 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: A Scientific Research Facility & a new University Rail Station!

Approval has been granted today for two major developments over at the University of Birmingham.

Exciting times for the city, and for the region as a whole.

Decision: Approved

Birmingham Interactive Development Map

The new station comes when the existing station currently struggles with over capacity.

It was built in the 1970s as part of the introduction of the Cross-City Line and was designed for accommodate 400,000 passengers per year and, except for some modifications in the 1990s during electrification, it has remained fairly untouched since.

Today, the station is used by approximately 3.48 million passengers per year, with numbers expected to top 7 million passengers by 2043.

To significantly accommodate and meet these increased capacity requirements, a new station is needed, which will now deliver:

  • Enhanced passenger facilities & improved connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists;
  • A new footbridge over the canal linking University of Birmingham campus to the new station;
  • Improved & upgraded amenities (changing rooms/retail etc) and more efficient operation, reducing over-crowding;
  • Wider platforms with longer canopies, lift access & heated waiting rooms;
  • Large public open space improving the approach to the station;
  • A spacious new public realm area linking the existing station to the new entrance which includes pick up/drop off and cycle storage facilities.

The existing station building will not be totally demolished, the exit will be refurbished and incorporated into the project and used to facilitate a safe, fluid passenger flow across the site, as seen below.

No passenger car parking is included in these plans, however, four spaces for staff (including 1 accessible) will be provided and located adjacent to the main entrance.

27 trees will have to be removed as part of plans; to mitigate their loss, 18 are scheduled to be planted within the landscaped public space, with a potential 60 planted to the rear of Platform 2, as seen below. 

(University of BirminghamAssociated Architects)
Decision: Approved subject to a section 106 agreement

Also approved!

This 12,790 sqm modular sciences academic building will comprise of a world class research facility.

The development forms the first phase by the University of Birmingham to create a flagship facility for world class scientific research, with this project specifically delivering flexible science space, with a focus on thematic research.

Part 6/7 storeys tall, the new building will accommodate up to 500-600 people and will primarily focus on chemical, environmental and biomolecular sciences within post-graduate and academic research. 

The School of Chemistry, a team of environmental scientists from the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES), and a postgraduate research student centre will relocate to the site.

A range of specialist lab spaces for Chemistry & GEES research will be incorporated;

  • Synthetic chemistry – fume cupboard intense primary labs;
  • Specialist labs including NMR & MRI, Mass Spec & Chromatography, Laser Labs, Cell Biology etc;
  • Academic and open-plan offices, meeting rooms;
  • Post-Graduate Research Hub

The building will also comprise of lecture, tutorial and research rooms, breakout spaces, Skype rooms, plus waste and containment rooms.

Outside, a new landscaped plaza will be created with significant new tree planting. A new cycle route is also proposed with new covered spaces for a minimum 23 cycles. Three accessible parking bays will be included.

Words by Stephen Giles, with exclusive artists impressions from Associated Architects

 We're also on Instagram. Feel free to follow us at: @Itsyourbirmingham

Share  Connect with us
40 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 Jun 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

The Square: A new 110m tall for Broad Street


Plans will see the delivery of three new buildings comprising of a 3*, 8-storey Hotel of up to 231 rooms and 440 build to rent (BTR) apartments across two adjoined residential blocks of 35 (110.85m) and 6 storeys.

The redevelopment is being brought forward by 2020 Living Ltd, otherwise known as Taylor Grange Developments, and has been designed by Corstorphine+Wright.

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

A multitude of amenities will be on offer here as part of the BTR package, with secure unprecedented access to top-of-the-range internal and external amenity offerings totalling 1185.8 sqm.

The Hotel will also feature flexible commercial usages, which will likely contain a bar or restaurant on the ground floor.

For residents, however, both residential builds will be adjoined via a shared podium, as seen above and below; 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.

An inner courtyard will provide external green space offering different zones to either work or play. It will become a place to promote wellbeing and healthy activity, whether through exercise regimes or just a place to chill out and relax in the outdoor seating areas.

Fitness stations will be located on the perimeter for those with regimes to maintain. As the project evolves, there will most certainly be opportunities for enhanced fitness offerings here.

CLICK: Right click on the above image for a cleaner view of the picture

Additional private amenity space will be provided within the crown of the 35-storey. It will offer a continuous 6m cantilevered brick colonnade framing a 360-degree roof terrace that will be lit up at night.


The residential mix will see a total of 46.4% one-bedroom apartments and 53.6% two-bedroom apartments. The entire mix currently includes 204 one (102 1B1P/ 102 1B2P) and 236 two bed (192 2B3P/ 44 2B4P) - totalling 440.


Given the sustainable location of the site, only four EV (electric vehicle) bays will be designated for residents. These will be accessed via the hotels under croft.

168 cycle spaces will be available within Building A, where a dedicated cycle workshop will also be provided.

Access into the residential part of the site will be from Ryland Street, with an area of public realm on the corner providing a clear entrance to the ground floor reception.

Access into the Hotel will be directly off Grosvenor Street West with a clear through route linking into the courtyard for shared amenities between residents and guests. 

Designated lay-by space for drop offs will be accessed on Grosvenor Street West.

A total of 7 trees will also be removed to facilitate the development, with 4 being retained. 40 new trees will be planted as part of these new plans.


The principle of residential for the site was established back in 2017 through a prior approval application; fortunately, a change of use from offices never materialised, hence this proposal.

Occupied in some quarters, all builds are around 3-4 storeys and are now deemed unsuitable for commercial tenants. These will be demolished should planning consent be granted.

Before & After:

The Public Consultation Period for this proposal ends on July 2nd 2020. Be sure to comment on the application

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

To keep up with Birmingham's many developments, follow us on Instagram

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
31 May 2020 - Stephen Giles

Paradise: Transformation of the Public Realm

Earlier in the week we posted a little update on our Instagram showcasing the current progress acoss the civic heart of Birmingham: Chamberlain Square.

Public realm works continue across the site and it is of the highest quality!


New lighting has appeared on Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG), with new paving continuing near the Town Hall.

Next on the agenda will see the restoration and refurbishment of the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial.

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry (IYB)

Instagram post: @Itsyourbirmingham

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
12 May 2020 - Stephen Giles

DIGBETH: Upper Trinity Street Regeneration Plans

Upper Trinity Street is one of the most anticipated developments of the year that will deliver almost 6,000sqm of mixed creative, retail, leisure and workspace, a 133 bed hotel and a mammoth 936 new homes across nine new buildings, ranging from 5 to 32 storeys.

The development is phaseable and will likely be completed by 2029.


Cole Waterhouse and Corstorphine+Wright plan to redevelop this rundown site into a new cultural, commercial and residential neighbourhood built around a new public park, artworks and a network of exciting new yards and squares. 

All creative, cultural and commercial spaces will be provided at ground floor level; providing a new, diverse and creative new community for the city.

Plans will see demolition works throughout, with the exception of the historic Lock Keepers Cottage and Pump House, with nine new replacement buildings comprising of 936 apartments (affordable BTR/Private sale), a funky 8-storey hotel, 63,000 sq ft of commercial spaces, all in builds ranging from 5 to 32 storeys (101.5m).

Phasing Plan:

Phase 1: A, B & C
Phase 2: E, F & G
Phase 3: H
Phase 4: J
Phase 5: D (dependent upon operator demand)

Phase 1: Blocks A, B & C (Makers Yard, Passage & UTS)

Three linear buildings varying from 15-16 storeys tall will be built, connected by 2/3 storey level shoulder elements to Upper Trinity Street - to align with the viaduct opposite. The shoulder blocks to the passage total 6/7 levels. The massing of these builds reflect and respond to their context.

The builds will include a main reception and amenity space at the base of Block B with entrances off the Yards. At levels 1-6, residents will be provided with roof gardens, with apartments at these levels also enjoying the added benefit of their own private roof terrace.

The two Makers' Yards that lie within this phase will become the beating heart of the new neighbourhood at Upper Trinity Street. The Yards will be fronted by ground floor creative units, workspace and residential facilities.

Around these Yards will be some of the most vibrant amenity offerings in the scheme, allowing users to collaborate, work and socialise.

Pump House Passage will provide a key pedestrian route through the site. It will connect Adderley Yard and Pump House Park, which itself will connect through to the canal network, providing connectivity from Liverpool Street to Bowyer Street and beyond.

Residential mix:
Block A: 16 storeys tall; 24,100 sq ft commercial space & 151 apartments (one, two and three beds)

Block B: 15 storeys; 13,810 sq ft of commercial space & 127 apartments (one, two and three beds)

Block C: 15 storeys; 98 apartments (one and two beds)

Phase 2: Blocks E, F & G and Bowyer Yard

Live/work units will offer a different typology here, and will almost certainly be suited to artists, makers or anyone who wants small studio space and a place to reside closeby.

Bowyer Yard is formed by the blocks and is a quiet space for residents; providing a space with its own individual character that relates specifically to the uses around its perimeter. 

202 apartments will be delivered across all three, with apartments and live/work units delivering one and two bedroomed homes.

Residential mix:

Block E: 10 storeys; 3,724 sq ft commercial space & 67 apartments (One & two bed).

Block F: 7 storeys; 57 apartments (One & two bed).

Block G: 5-7 storeys; 2,195 sq ft commercial & 67 apartments (one & two bed)

Phases 3 and 4 (Blocks H & J)

Blocks H and J are the two tallest buildings proposed for the development (32 and 19 storeys). Once these get underway UTS will be a totally different animal.

The 32 storey (101.5m) Block H will deliver 234 one, two and duplex apartments, with 8,998 sq ft of commercial space, a plethora of amenities, and a gym that will open to a covered terrace space, with links to a 7th floor roof garden. A first floor amenity garden is also incorporated.

Block J will top out at 19 storeys, delivering 124 apartments, 5,253 sq ft of commercial space & a level 7 amenity space.

A bustling new public space will be created in between these two builds: Adderley Yard.

It'll become the key gateway into the site, and the first port of call for visitors. It will be created around the retained Dead Wax pub and Electric Supply Station - both of which are locally listed.

The area will become a dynamic new space whilst providing potential event space, with painted mural artworks and Digbeth-esque artworks creating a vibrant sense of place. 

Block D (Hotel & Pump House Park)

While it is easy to look at the buildings set for demolition, it is important to realise that the prominent existing heritage elements currently on site will be fully utilised to reshape the redevelopment, with the in-situ lock-keepers cottage, canal pump house and culvert all incorporated into the Pump House Park.

These are being retained, preserved and celebrated. The Cottage is likely to be re-purposed for community use, with its own community garden.

Pump House Park will deliver 4,000 sqm of public realm through a neighbourhood park. It'll become a centrepiece for the scheme but will also act as a stepping stone to unlocking regeneration in the surrounding vicinity, aka Duddeston Viaduct Skypark.

A new 8-storey hotel will occupy a key location overlooking the Skypark and Pump House Park, named after the former Victorian Pump House - a vital piece of canal infrastructure and the inspiration for a large new industrial art installation.

The hotel will deliver a total of 133 bedrooms and 266 sqm of flexible commercial space. It will be brought forward once there is occupier demand to.

The new ‘Ghost Structure’ around the Pump House mimics the former Victorian Pump House and chimney, its form and location have been meticulously researched by the use of historic maps and photos

The original brick Pump House and chimney stood on site 200 years ago. Unfortunately, this isn't on site anymore. To remedy this, the developer, architects et all are proposing a reintroduction of the missing structure, and giving a sense of scale to the park.

Original Pump House:


DEVELOPERCole Waterhouse
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERRenaissance Associates

Words by Stephen Giles; Artists Impressions from Corstorphine+Wright & Exterior Architecture

For more news on developments, be sure to follow us on Instagram

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 May 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates


Here's the lowdown on the BIG planning applications that were decided on this afternoon (May 7th), which included the rejuvenation of a Jewellery Quarter site, and a 178-bed student scheme.


These are the main developments going to Planning Committee on May 7th 2020. 

(APPROVED) RESI: Heaton House Lofts, Camden Street, Jewellery Quarter.
(You can read more regarding Heaton House >here<
(APPROVED) STUDENT: 8 Selly Hill Road, Selly Oak.
(APPROVED) FAITH: Harborne - Manresa House, 10 Albert Road.
(APPROVED) LIDL Store, Hamstead, Former GKN Site Land at Old Walsall Road.
(APPROVED) MIXED-USE: Hockley - Community Vocational College.
(APPROVED) RESI: Minworth - Hansons Bridge Road.
STUDENT: 8 Selly Hill Road, Selly Oak
(Madison Construction LtdD5 Architects)
Application: 2019/09000/PA
Decision: Approved 8-4.

The site has today been approved (7/05/2020) and will now see demolition of the existing Selly Oak ex-servicemen's club, as well as 133 Dawlish Road, and the construction of a 178-bed student-led redevelopment.

The new build will vary from three-storeys to five, comprising of 6-10 bed clusters and studios, with shared lounges and kitchens.

A 3-storey frontage will take precedence on Selly Hill Road, however, due to the levels across the site, this will see two lower ground levels. The scheme will see two rear wings which will then drop down to 3 storeys in height at the rear.

To the rear, to go with the bin store & cycle storage, a landscaped communal amenity space is provided, as well as a communal lounge that will open out onto the amenity space. A cinema/games room and gym are also included in the scheme.

Artists Impressions from D5 Architects

FAITH: Harborne - Manresa House, 10 Albert Road

Application: 2020/00222/PA
Decision: Approved 10-0

Manresa House is a series of connected existing buildings set within large garden spaces to both front and rear. 

The building is owned by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and functions as the provincial novitiate for the UK. A novitiate is where novices, or trainees, spend the first two years of their training period, where it can last over 10 years to become brothers or priests within the Society of Jesus. 

The redevelopment, now approved, aims to improve the functionality and accessibility of the site by way of demolition of modern extensions and the subsequent erection of two new 'wing' extensions to provide residential, religious and admin facilities.

A villa dating back to the 1840's will be retained and refurbished.

A total of 24 bedrooms (12 en-suite) will be provided, comprising of 18 bedrooms situated within the two-storey northern wing (12 novice bedrooms & 6 senior bedrooms, including one accessible), along with 7 bedrooms (6 guest beds and one accessible room) located in the southern wing.

Provided within these extensions include a new chapel, a new and improved library, support spaces, meeting rooms, kitchen, dining and laundry facilities. Buildings to be demolished include a 1980's Library building, plus residential wings

Parking provision on the site has not been altered and remains as is, however, it has been moved from the north end of the front garden to the south side.

Artists Impressions from OMI Architects

LIDL Store, Hamstead, Former GKN Site Land at Old Walsall Road

Application: 2019/08290/PA
Decision: Approved 11-0

Artists Impressions from Whittam Cox Architects

Construction of a single storey Lidl foodstore on a vacant area of land, sited to the eastern side of Old Walsall Road.

A total of 152 car parking spaces are included here, including 8 disabled bays and 9 parent and child spaces. A provisional 10 cycle storage racks are also provided.

MIXED-USE: Hockley - Community Vocational College, Former Muhammad Ali Centre

Decision: Approved 10-0

The site will now see demolition of an existing fire damaged building and the erection of a 300-space Community Vocational College for 14-25 year olds.

The development will focus on empowering local people with skills in the hospitality, health and social care and business sectors, providing employment placement opportunities by engaging them with local businesses.

Students between the ages of 14 to 29 will attend for both short and longer term courses, in some cases as part of apprenticeship arrangements with local businesses.

In close relation to the community vocational college an ‘enterprise employment hub’ (exhibition and meetings area) and 7 enterprise units will also be erected within the site and will be available on short-term leases.

On-site accommodation above the enterprise employment hub and units will provide 52 one and 11 two bedroom flats (63 bedrooms in total) targeted at older current students and graduates.

A central open square will act as a communal focus. 30 on-site car parking spaces will be provided when the site is not required for events.

The community sports building, the Muhammad Centre, is due for demolition. The building was the subject of a fire in 2002 and has remained derelict ever since.

Artists Impressions from Hodson Architects

RESI: Minworth - Hansons Bridge Road

Decision: Approved 10-0
Outline application with all matters reserved for the redevelopment of a brownfield land with the erection of 20 residential dwellings.

The site is set to deliver 8 one bedroom apartments; 6 two bedroom and 6 three bedroom houses. All units (100%) will be affordable housing; providing 7 for shared ownership & 13 for rent. 35 car parking spaces are to be included.
Indicative site layout from BM3 Architects
The next Planning Committee hearing will take place on May 21st 2020.
Words by Stephen Giles.
Artists Impressions from: BM3 Architects/ D5 Architects/ Hodson Architects/ Whittam Cox Architects & OMI Architects.


Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
06 May 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: Heaton House Lofts, Camden Street

Heaton House Lofts includes the rejuvenation of a neglected site in the Jewellery Quarter. Featuring new builds apartments, townhouses and commercial uses, the jewel in the crown is a 19th Century villa from 1795 - Heaton House. 

Plans will see it restored, converted and made the crowning centrepiece of this exciting new development.


ONE of the most eagerly anticipated developments of the year goes to Planning Committee on Thursday (May 7) with the developer seeking to transform a neglected 19th Century Jewellery Quarter site.

Heaton House Lofts, on Camden Street and Powell Street, is being brought forward by Elevate Property Group, with ambitious plans to transform the site by way of demolition, conversion and the erection of four new builds; delivering 42 apartments, 14 townhouses and 3,500 sq ft of commercial space.

Elevate are seeking to breath new life into the site, having owned the site for two-and-a-half-years now, and having gone through a rigorous application process. D5 Architects have designed the scheme.


The development will unearth and revive a true hidden gem within the site: 1795-built Heaton House, with plans to restore the Georgian villa into a four-bedroom (3,362 sq ft) dwelling house, with its own garden, rooftop terrace and garage.

The villa was once a middle-class dwelling house in the 19th century, before being swallowed up by the industrialisation of the Jewellery Quarter. All original features on the house will be reinstated, with only modern additions being removed.

The building will undergo sensitive cleaning and repair works to its brickwork; installation of a new slate roof; repairing/recreating the original stone; installation of new windows; and the installation of a new portico entrance & staircase - as you can see below.

Directly around Heaton House, the hardscaping here represents the footprint design of the original landscape the villa once sat in - a nice gentle nod to the past; these can be seen on historical maps of the site.

Heaton House will soon become the centrepiece of the new development, with all new contemporary builds strategically formed around the villa.


The site will be thoroughly demolished before work can commence here.

Plans will see the construction of four new builds; three of which will be residential builds located on Camden Street (Block A, B & C); one commercial building (Block D) on Powell Street; with Block C and D seeing three-storey rear wings that enclose the site boundaries.

Stephen Giles: Birmingham Interactive Development Map

The residential mix of accommodation will comprise of 20 one bed (one person apartment); 10 one bed (two person apartment); 12 two bed apartments; 12 three bedroom townhouses; 2 four bedroom townhouses; and Heaton House will provide 1 four bedroom villa. 6 (10%) apartments are to be provided as low cost units with a 25% discount on market sale values.

All builds facing out onto their respective streets will reach four storeys tall.

Block D will be a commercial build with ground floor residents entrance lobby and access to the commercial spaces on the upper three floors. Uses here are expected to see offices or leisure/gym use. Residents will be free to be walk through and out onto the internal courtyard to the three-storey winged townhouses and parking/cycle areas.

On Camden Street, two of the blocks will rise to five storeys as you venture into the site; by virtue of accommodation proposed within the pitched roofs.

Given the gradient of the street, the Camden Street frontage naturally steps down before the builds are interjected by the main entrance; thus ensuring Heaton House gets the last laugh with a new prominent frontage.

A cycle store of 57 will be provided within Block B, with vehicular access provided under Block A, where a courtyard space will cater for 15 cars.

SUBTLE NOD: The gates here are in the original position as they were in the 19th century. 


These three-storey wings will be subdivided to provide 14 townhouses, with the intention of enclosing the western and southern site boundaries.

The periphery of the site will include amenity spaces in the form of courtyard spaces of various sizes, and the incorporation of private terraces to the rear of said dwellings.


Before all this can materialise however, the site will need to be demolished. 

Today, the site is bringing down the tone of the Conservation Area; sitting forlornly, occupied by vacant un-listed two and three storey industrial builds, with many in a poor state of no return.

Objections to these demolitions have been raised by The Victorian Society, Historic England and Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT), who all share the same concerns: the loss of the back-to-back housing and the original Coach House to Heaton House. 

SITE: Back to Backs, Camden Street, Google Street View

Elevate - a company who have sensitively renovated many historic build over the years, pointed out that these buildings have been left to deteriorate over the years, whilst interiorly, they have been stripped back and altered so much, that no original character remains.

SITE: Camden Street, Google Street View


The Conservation officer accepts their loss by admitting that the conditions of these builds were too far gone, with the back-to-backs the only one offering any modicum of significance; albeit medium, but admitted that it would be difficult to implement them into the scheme.

SITE: Summer Hill Road, Google Street View

SITE: Powell Street, Google Street View

Heaton House Lofts has been recommended for APPROVAL.

Words by Stephen Giles
Artists Impressions are the property of Elevate Property Group/ D5 Architects.
You can now follow us on Instagram: @Itsyourbirmingham

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
06 May 2020 - Stephen Giles

The Construction of The Mercian - May 2020

Work is well underway on the facade installation, and it's looking good! The core has now reached level 15, with the 14-storey shoulder very close to topping out, with all floors edging upwards on a daily basis and showing its impressive bulk!

Another superb picture update from Daniel, Reiss and our legion of passionate contributors.


May 4th: Moda Timelapse Webcam

The big news this month is of course, the installation of the facade. Interestingly, the side facade on the shoulder element (facing camera) will see all solid panels; this is to avoid overlooking onto the upcoming 211 Broad Street slender skyscraper development - which can be viewed here

Enjoy this late March to present day update from Daniel and Reiss, with positive contributions from others. 

LATEST: May 3rd & 4th

John Gilbert

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry

29th April:

Photos by Daniel Sturley

27th April:

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry

April 23rd:


April 20th:

April 17th:

April 12th:

April 12th:

April 9th:

April 8th:

April 7th:

April 4th:

March 26th:

March 20th:

Photos by Daniel Sturley; Many more photos in the Full Gallery

The Mercian is a 42-storey (132m) skyscraper at the heart of Broad Street, in Birmingham. The building comprises of a 3-storey podium space, with a 200-metre running track, 35,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space and 30,000 sq ft of other communal facilities. On top of the podium are two cores - one for a 39-storey tower, with the other seeing a 14-storey shoulder - totaling 481 one, two and three bedroom apartments, all exclusively for rent.
DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS: Moda Living/ Apache Capital
FUNDING: Harrison Street/ NFU Mutual/ Goldman Sachs
ARCHITECTS: Glenn Howells Architects/ Oobe Landscape
INTERIORS: Naomi Cleaver


Artists Impression from Glenn Howells Architects

Words by Stephen GilesBe sure to follow us on Instagram: @Itsyourbirmingham

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
03 May 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Big Projects Approved During Covid-19

The world is pretty much running in slow motion at the moment but this isn't stopping the applications.

A number of monumental developments have been approved recently, including the mammoth Curzon Street Station HS2, and the 51-storey ONE Eastside development, and that's not all.


Updated: May 2nd: BIG Birmingham developments that have been formally approved in the last month during Covid-19.  

HS2 Curzon Street Station & Public Realm.
RESI: 51fl: ONE Eastside - James Watt Queensway, Coleshill Street.
11fl OFFICES: Enterprise Wharf - Innovation Birmingham Campus
OFFICES: 5 St. Phillip's Place, Refurbishment
OFFICES: Regency Wharf, Rum Runner Works - Gas Street Basin.
RESI: Digbeth One 2 - Bradford Street, Lombard Street, Cheapside.
RESI: Branston Court - Branston Street, Jewellery Quarter.
OFFICES: 53 Regent Place - Jewellery Quarter.
OFFICES: Sapcote's Yard - Rear of 89 -95 Camden Street, JQ.
OFFICES: Interchange Place - 151-165 Edmund Street.
HS2 Curzon Street Station & Public Realm
Station: 2020/00602/PA
Public Realm: 2020/00601/PA2020/00610/PA

The applications were formally rubber-stamped by Birmingham City Council's Planning Committee on April 23rd 2020. We were the first to break the news, as seen here.

Curzon Street HS2 will now connect up with London Euston via Birmingham Interchange and Old Oak Common (West London).

The station will soon become the first intercity terminus built in Britain since the 19th century; it will also become the ’most environmentally friendly railway station in the world’.

The new station will provide a world-class gateway into the ever-evolving Birmingham City Centre. 

The station has been designed to provide fluid access across the site, with a new landscaped public realm space; a Midland Metro Tram stop; ample cycling provision; office space; lifts; and taxi pick up/drop off points all within the site.

The new station itself will deliver 7 new platforms; a western & eastern concourse; a plethora of retail provision; and a beautifully designed signature roof that harks back to traditional train station architecture.

Station Square and Paternoster Place will become a generous public space that will be used as a destination and a meeting space; offering public transport, pedestrian routes and cycling links into the heart of Digbeth and beyond.

The new square will also feature the new 'Station Clock' sculpture from Turner Prize-winning Susan Philipsz - as seen here.

Lets not forget the old Curzon Street building either! It'll be at the forefront of the new development, with enhanced connectively linking it from the new eastern concourse at New Canal Street. The old station will soon become a cafe and office space.

Artists Impressions from Grimshaw Architects


We're not expecting station construction to commence in Birmingham until 2021 at the very earliest, but we are expecting HS2 Ltd to appoint contractors for both Curzon Street & Interchange HS2 Stations later in the year.

51fl ONE Eastside
Full Planning: 2020/00602/PA
Artists Impression from Glancy Nicholls Architects

Approved: 10-1 on April 23rd 2020. Update: S106 Agreement Signed on 30th April.

Approved on the 5th of December 2019, it went back to Committee on April 23rd as Historic England's comments were belatedly received. Although they never formally objected to the principle of development, they did raise concerns about the way in which the impact on heritage assets was assessed.

So, back to committee it went. Their comments were officially noted and Committee went with their previous resolution for the application: 10-1 in favour of approval.

The site will now see two residential builds of 51 (155.1m) and 15 storeys (51m) comprising of 667 one and two bedroom apartments alongside a host of residential amenity spaces, including: 24/7 pavilion gym, cafe, residents lounge, cinema, games rooms, rooftop bar, sky lounge & terraces.

The scheme will provide 357 one bed (54%) and 310 two bed (46%) apartments, of which 527 are to be accommodated in Tower A (51fl) and 140 in Tower B (15fl).

A 2-3 storey pavilion will be situated in the western corner of the site facing James Watt Queensway and will provide a gateway entrance & a community gym facility for residents - all available to use 24/7. 132 covered cycle spaces for bikes will be available.

Here's to seeing One Eastside get underway before 2020 is up.

11fl OFFICES: Enterprise Wharf - Innovation Birmingham Campus
Full Planning: 2019/10607/PA

Bruntwood owns the largest portfolio of science and technology assets in the UK, including Innovation Birmingham campus. Its joint venture with L&G, has set itself the target of adding 5m sq ft of science and technology space in UK cities in the next 10 years.

The site will see the expansion of Innovation Birmingham Campus, with a new build 11-storey, 120,000 sq ft office development.

The building will provide ten commercial floors of circa 12,000 sq ft, each divisible into four that would be ideal to accommodate larger companies. The primary target customers for the building are digital technology companies in the technology/ media/ telecom sector.

Ground floor will accommodate arrival & reception space, with back office, business lounges and shower/ changing facilities. Vehicular access will be provided for 195 to the rear of iCentrum, which will also provide access to five disabled spaces and a cycle store for 60 bikes. 

Artists Impressions from Associated Architects
OFFICES: 5 St . Phillip's Place, Refurbishment
Application: 2020/01287/PA
The site: Clay Street Property Consultants
* Refurbishment works are limited to the offices only and do not include the banking and retail units fronting Colmore Row.
Works here will see thorough external and internal refurbishments, with the creation of a first floor terrace (82 sqm) and a rooftop amenity terrace; an increase of 850mm in size, with glazed balustrade providing outdoor amenity space for staff (265 sqm).
Steps, ramps, railings and the buildings entrance canopy will be removed, with new fully accessible level access, and the installation of new doors. The building will also see a recladding of the roof plant enclosure to metal mesh or similar, as seen here:

Other internal works will see an enlarged double height reception, replacement of all M&E installations, with new cores and lifts, plus the inclusion of showers and changing room facilities.

Artists Impressions from 5plus Architects

OFFICES: Regency Wharf (South Block) - Rum Runner Works
Full Planning: 2019/09452/PA

Picton won planning consent this month for the conversion and extension of the Gas Street Basin elevation of Regency Wharf. The build will see a change of use from restaurant/cafe use to 1864 sqm of open-plan office space. 

With the casual dining market seeing a great deal of change, even before Covid-19, Picton have addressed this impact by proposing a scheme that they believe will help see the area making a positive contribution again.

Work will now see internal and external refurbishment works and the construction of a two-storey extension, including the creation of a new double height glazed entrance; a timber deck open-air terrace; raised floors; LED lighting; air conditioning; showers; new 24-hour access; multiple private roof terraces; and a central courtyard for events.

Digbeth One 2: Bradford Street/ Lombard Street/ Cheapside
Full Planning: 2019/07304/PA

This site was under construction before ESRG Developments fell into administration. St. Modwen picked up the pieces and immediately set about improving the scheme.

Firstly, they amended the colour palette from a blue brick to a traditional red, and plonked on an additional 24 apartments, which included the omission of a commercial unit, but adding a new dimension to the project: A new rooftop extension with Juliet balconies.

The site will now deliver 194 apartments in a mix of ranges and sizes that will comprise 14 studios; 129 one;, 50 two; and 1 three bedroom apartment.

Two gym areas will be openly available for residents, with ground floor courtyard for some units, and private communal amenities in the form of roof terraces available for those on the upper floors. 36 car parking spaces are provided (inc 2 disabled). Two secure cycle stores are incorporated, providing one space per unit, totalling 194 spaces (100% provision).


53 Regent Place, Jewellery Quarter
Full Planning: 2020/00542/PA

Google Street View

This is BSAC's UK HQ (British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy). The three-storey, Grade II listed HQ office has recently been given the go-ahead to undergo internal and external refurbishment works.

Works will see the demolition of partitions, with new wheelchair access, raised ground floor area, new furniture, electrical fittings and new black framed partitions.

Break out spaces will be provided, with communal tables, kitchen with bar, library, and an outdoor amenity area. New meeting and waiting rooms, quiet rooms, built-in screens, storage lockers, reception desk, toilets, a moss wall and a washroom will all be facilitated into newly upgraded surroundings.

Externally, the building will undergo window repairs and will also see the installation of a new ventilation system.

Sapcote Yard, Rear of 89 -95 Camden Street, Jewellery Quarter
Full Planning: 2018/06214/PA

The application has been amended since originally submitted to exclude a larger part of the courtyard space and site frontage to Camden Street where 12 town houses and an apartment were proposed. These are now subject to further pre application discussions. We'll share the information once we have it.

This recently approved application, however, will see the retention and refurbishment of three existing Victorian buildings, demolition of a one-storey garage block, with the construction of a replacement three-storey office block, as seen above.

The three builds set for refurbishment are vacant late Victorian two-storey structures which were used as offices and storage. These are of traditional brick build with pitched roofs and still have their original features.

All modern alterations are to be removed. Brilliant news!

Branston Court, Branston Street, Jewellery Quarter
Permitted Development Changes: 2020/01898/PA

The development will see 29 new residential units formed by the conversion of two existing buildings; Block 1 and Block 2: Branston Court. 15 car parking spaces and 30 cycle parking spaces will be provided.

OFFICES: Interchange Place - 151-165 Edmund Street
Full Planning: 2020/01509/PA

Interchange Place received planning consent for the remodelling of the buildings entrance.

Recladding works to the lower level of the building facade to Edmund and part of Livery Street will soon get underway.

The current entrance to the existing office will be re-clad and the pass door relocated. The brick slip cladding located on either side of the existing entrance will be removed and replaced with glazing.

A new entrance will be created at the Livery Street elevation with new internally illuminated spandrel panels above the entrance. The facade will be enhanced with new PPC metal work elements and new glazing.

Words by Stephen Giles
Artists Impressions from: Glancy Nicholls Architects/ Associated Architects/ 5plus Architects/  Child Graddon Lewis Architects/Lawray Architects/ The Space* Studio/ St. Paul's Associates/ Hutchison Kivotos Architects

For more posts on Birmingham's developments: Follow us on Instagram

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
28 Apr 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Essex Street Tower: A New 28-Storey Residential Tower For Southside

The future of Southside is ramping up with the submittal of this latest residential tower for the area. From Essex Street (Properties) and Glancy Nicholls Architects: This is Essex Street Tower.


<For more on Birmingham's developments, be sure to follow us on Instagram>

A new 28-storey residential tower is set to be developed in Southside after a formal planning application arrived today.

Located at the junction of Bristol Street and Essex Street, the development is being brought forward by Essex Street (Properties) Ltd - a vehicle used by Regal Property Group - the development company behind the 22 & 33 storey Bank Towers on Broad Street.

Regal have teamed up with Glancy Nicholls Architects to bring forward the redevelopment of site to deliver 154 one, two and three bedroom apartments, an active A1/A3 commercial unit, and a plethora of amenity spaces. All apartments are earmarked for private sale.

The residential mix will deliver one, two and three bed variants across the scheme. These include: 64 one bed (one person); 6 one bed (two person); 78 two bed (three person); and one three bedroom penthouse apartment. This equates to 70 one bed; 83 two bed; and 1 three bedroom apartment.

Active street frontages are the name of the game here, with the introduction of a ground and mezzanine level commercial unit, and a residents' entrance fronting onto Essex Street (see below).

The entrance on Essex Street will feature a double height reception area with foyer; parcel & post room; concierge; and a security room. Back of house areas will see a refuse store; secure cycle storage; and a cycle workshop.

In terms of amenity, the development will provide a multi-use community room; gym, sky cinema; and an open air roof garden.

Interestingly, all amenity spaces are to be located to the rear of the tower to allow for future development of the adjacent site (see images at the bottom of this page).

Given the sites excellent transport links, and with the prospect of the Midland Metro Tram coming to the surrounding area in late-2021, no car parking provision is allocated. 34 cycles, within a secure two-tier bike rack, will be provided instead.


You may remember that the site already benefits from planning consent in 2017, when an 18-storey residential tower of 68 apartments was approved at committee.

That development from Sandpiper Group never quite materialised, with Sandpiper since selling the site on to Essex Street (Properties) Ltd, in 2019 - who are now applying for a 10-storey increase.


Unfortunately, these vacant Victorian buildings will bite the dust, having fell into a state of disrepair over the years.


Google Street View


The building with feature an elegantly designed facade with angled crown feature, terracotta-coloured panels and a patterned zigzag design, referencing the past and future tram lines of the city.

The detailing is set to be be recessed into the panelling, with the facade also including grey spandrel panels and openable windows.


Words by Stephen Giles; Artists Impressions the property of Glancy Nicholls Architects.

Birmingham's one and only Interactive Development Map (new map coming soon)

For more on Birmingham's developments, be sure to follow Birmingham's no.1 account for all developments: Itsyourbirmingham.

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
20 Apr 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Major Redevelopment Plans Revealed For Digbeth Bus Garage

Up to 2,120 new homes could be constructed in a rundown area of Digbeth area as part of a major mixed-use scheme. Follow the post for unseen renderings and in-depth plans for the first plot coming forward: 'Metalworks' 


<For more posts on Birmingham's developments: Follow us on Instagram>

A hybrid application for the redevelopment of Digbeth Bus Garage has arrived.

Brought forward by HUB Group, National Express & shedkm, the site is projected to deliver a minimum 1,250 residential apartments across six plots.

As many as 2,120 new homes could end up occupying the site, with early signs suggesting that the scheme could see up to 1,200+ market/BTR homes, up to 450 co-living homes, and up to 950 student accommodation.

Located on Adderley Street and Liverpool Street, the scheme comprises of two parcels of land. The northern parcel is currently occupied by National Express as a bus depot, with the southern parcel currently used as a car park,

The scheme has evolved in collaboration with Digbeth residents and its wider community with plans for a new community that brings together creative, industrial and residential uses to facilitate long-term growth, whilst reflecting the areas rich industrial heritage.

The new homes will be linked by more than two acres of brand new public realm, including 200 metres of canal frontage.

Plans involve the full detailed planning of Plot 1, including the phased demolition of existing buildings. Outline planning is also sought for future plots 2-6 and areas of public realm.

We will concentrate solely on Plot 1, whilst giving you an indicative outline of future building heights.


This includes the demolition of Pandora's, partial demolition of Digbeth Bus Garage and the wall on Liverpool Street. Large swathes of the existing wall are to be retained, arches intact, and integrated into Plot 1 and any future Plot 4 scheme, and used for commercial purposes.

Once complete, the first plot will involve a single build construction of a part 7, 12 and 15 storey building of 214 one, two and three bedroom homes. 

The residential mix will deliver 20 one bed (one person) apartments; 89 one bed (two person; 33 two bed (three person); 66 two bed (four person) & 6 three bed (five person) units; a percentage mix of 51% one, 46% two and 3% three.

The tallest element is located at the south-east corner of Adderley Street - rising to 15 floors, with the central area dropping down to 7 floors, before rising to 12 floors at the junction of Liverpool Street. The building will set the benchmark for further regeneration in the area.

In addition to the apartments, the development will include a communal first & landscaped seventh floor amenity garden, designed with the intention of planting trees and shrubs, with the objective of creating a healthy and wholly sustainable environment to live and work in.

1,375 sqm of active ground floor commercial frontages will also be incorporated into the scheme, offering a variety of uses along Liverpool Street and Adderley Street.

These commercial 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.


Once demolished the site boundary will instantly include two secondary routes: 'Liverpool Gully' and Upper Bowyer Street (below). These two will establish connections from Liverpool Street and Adderley Street, to canal-side.

Plot 1 will provide 28 car parking spaces; 4 accessible bays; 222 residential cycle spaces; six staff cycle spaces; and eight customer cycle parking spaces for the commercial aspect. The latter 14 commercial cycle spaces will be provided via seven Sheffield Cycle Stands.

Vehicular access will be from Liverpool Street leading to an internal ground floor car park that'll serve the building. Temporary parking will be allocated within Liverpool Gully as part of the first phase of the.

The development will give National Express the opportunity to relocate to new, purpose-built facilities as they move towards an all-electric fleet over the next 10 years.


A widespread landscape scheme is proposed for Adderley Street including new tree planting, substantial pedestrian routes and cycle storage. The public realm here has been methodically designed to accommodate the future delivery of the Midland Metro Tram, as you can see in the indicative rendering of the buildings below.

The individual phases have also been added for clarity. The transparent buildings are Cole Waterhouse's 'Upper Trinity Street' project.


The maximum heights for the individual plots sought in outline are set out below.


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

Words by Stephen Giles; Artists Impressions from HUB Group & shedkm

For more posts on Birmingham's developments: Follow us on Instagram.

Share  Connect with us
35 passion points
Construction & regeneration
19 Apr 2020 - Stephen Giles

MODA reveals new plans for Great Charles Street site.

It's the site we've all been waiting for!

Great Charles Street in the Jewellery Quarter is all set for a new lease of life with this exciting, new mixed-use redevelopment from MODA Living & Apache Capital Partners.



>For more on Birmingham's developments, follow us on Instagram: @Itsyourbirmingham<

MODA Living and Apache Capital Partners have revealed plans for their second Birmingham development, with a new mixed-use scheme at Great Charles Street.

Plans will see a mixed-use redevelopment of 722 ‘Built-to-Rent’ homes across three new-build blocks of 5-6, 6-16 and a 39-storey tower.

All apartments will be operated by MODA Living, with all units exclusively available for rent.

The site has been meticulously designed to relate positively to the Jewellery Quarter conservation area, whilst also acknowledging the emerging Colmore Business District (CBD).

The apartment mix will yield a total of 372 one; 315 two; and 35 three bedroom apartments, in a range of types and sizes. These comprise of 159 one bed (one person) apartments; 213 one bed (two person); 315 two bed (four person); 27 three bed (five person); and 8 three bed (six person) units.

Block A (39 storeys) will deliver 366 apartments; Block B (6-16 storeys) will cater for 236; and Block C, fronting onto Lionel Street, will consist of 120 units.


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 developments, and this one is absolutely no different.

Great Charles Street will provide a rich array of amenities, with residents’ lounges; health and wellbeing facilities; cinema rooms; open-air rooftop terraces; landscaped private and public gardens with newly planted trees; 24/7 concierge; and flexible workspaces.

The set-back 39-storey tower will also incorporate an amenity area at the foot of the building, as well as on the 16th floor - with the massing of the building punctuated with this space. 

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


This is pivotal. The intention is to create a vibrant, active site that not only complements its surroundings, but enhances the current hustle and bustle of the 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 located on the lower and upper ground floors of the sites perimeter, with talks already underway with potential clients for a wide range of uses.

Numerous boutique bars, retail units and/or independent cafés and restaurants could well set up shop here. Other uses may include health and wellbeing, workspace and leisure units. Only time will tell.


Birmingham City Council Planning Officers have long pushed for a well designed landmark tall building to be strategically positioned 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 too excessive to the surrounding area.

MODA even opened negotiations for a 55-storey to be placed here, however, that was deemed a tad too too big for the area.

So lets take a brief look at how the site has been set up.

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

Again, predominately along Ludgate Hill, we see a transition taking place, 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 into the development will be fluid, with locations earmarked for the corners of Ludgate Hill/ Lionel Street and Great Charles Street/ Livery Street.

It’s here where the sites reception facilities and MODA staff will be. They'll provide access to all homes and residents’ amenity areas (including workspaces, cinema rooms, gym). 

The development replaces a 200+ car park and, given the sustainable location of the site, with tram, train and bus links on the sites doorstep, Great Charles Street will provide 44 car parking spaces; 4 accessible bays & 4 EV (Electric vehicle charging points).

4 motorcycle bays and a total of 464 secure cycle storage are provided too, with provision for more if needed. These will be situated next to the sites dedicated cycle hub, just off Lionel Street.

Subject to planning consent, MODA hope to be on site in 2021.

Developer: MODA Living
Partners: Apache Capital Partners
Architects: Ryder Architecture/ Oobe Landscape
Project Manager: RPS Group
Structural Engineer: WSP
MEP Engineer: Tate Consulting
Quantity Surveyor: Arcadis

Words by Stephen Giles; Artists Impressions from Ryder Architecture & Oobe Landscape

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
12 Apr 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: Ambitious plans revealed for 51 Northwood Street/ Mary Street

ICYMI: A big mixed-use redevelopment scheme in the Jewellery Quarter was revealed this week. For a quick lowdown on 51 Northwood Street, click 'View Full Post' below.


The biggest application of the week saw exciting plans unveiled for a new mixed-use redevelopment at the heart of the Jewellery Quarter.

The development, bounded by Mary Street and Northwood Street, has been brought forward by the sites owner - Digital Emartbuy Ltd, with ambitious new plans comprising of residential and commercial, in a group of three and four storey new builds.

Site plan: Birmingham Interactive Development Map

To make this a reality, Digital Emartbuy’s premises - a two-storey office and warehouse on the corner of Northwood Street and Mary Street, will need to be demolished (see below).Northwood Street

Mary Street

The street will then be transformed with 1,229sqm of flexible commercial usages, with as many as 20 small to medium-sized businesses, employing over 200 people.

A range of uses could see retail, offices, restaurant(s), and a health centre, all occupying the site.

From a residential standpoint, the development will deliver 27 one and two bedroom apartments; all available for open market sale, comprising 6 one beds (22%), and 21 two bedroom apartments (78%), which also includes duplexes. 

These dwellings will be delivered in various sizes ranging from 50.9 sqm to 96 sqm apartments, catering for 2, 3 and 4 persons, with all builds arranged around a central courtyard amenity space, as shown below.

"The proposed development replaces buildings detrimental to the Conservation Area with a high quality development that will enhance the area, increase the quantity and type of commercial accommodation on site, offer new employment opportunities and provide new residential dwellings in a sustainable location."Planning Statement.

Given the sites sustainable location at the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, the development will be car free, with secure and enclosed cycle storage provided for residents and workers instead.



CLIENT: Digital Emartbuy Ltd
ARCHITECTS: D5 Architects
QUANTITY SURVEYOR: BACE Construction Consultants

Words by Stephen Giles; Artists impressions from D5 Architects.

On Instagram? Be sure to follow us over at @Itsyourbirmingham

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
10 Apr 2020 - Stephen Giles

SNEAK PEAK: Birmingham New Street & Grand Central in 2014, one year before officially reopening.


I was lucky enough to have been given a sneak peak a year or so before the Queen officially reopened the station in 2015.

The five year, £750m redevelopment of Birmingham New Street was one of the UK’s largest and most complex redevelopment projects in recent times.

It involved integrated refurbishment of the busiest interchange station in the UK - 43 shops at concourse level and the new Grand Central shopping complex above, housing one of the UK’s largest John Lewis department stores.

The station is now three-and-a-half times bigger than the dingy station it replaced.

Work started from the top down, which involved huge complex engineering feats.

6,000+ tonnes of reinforced concrete were removed, all done above a live operational rail station to oblivious commuters.

This included the roof of Pallasades Shopping Centre (4,000 tonnes), with 2,000 of that making up the floor that previously made up the ceiling of the concourse.

The station is now bathed with natural light for the first time in a generation.

With DSLR cameras prohibited, all photos were taken on a rather dodgy 2014 smartphone. Enjoy the throwback!

Pictures by Stephen Giles



Karl Newton

Garry Morris

Daniel Sturley

Stephen Giles

Words by Stephen Giles, with picture contributions from Garry Morris, Metrogogo, Karl Newton & Daniel Sturley.

We're also on Instagram: @Itsyourbirmingham

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
06 Apr 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Hilton Birmingham Metropole & Stride Treglown reveal new NEC Hotel plans


HENDERSON Park and Stride Treglown last week revealed plans for a new Hampton by Hilton hotel and multi-storey car park at the NEC in Solihull.

The new hotel (7/8 storeys) & MSCP (5 storeys) will be situated within car park 3 and 4 of the Hilton Birmingham Metropole (HBM), on Pendigo Way.

Property investor Henderson Park acquired the 790-room, HBM, from London-based The Tonstate Group back in 2017, along with Hilton London, for approximately £500 million. The deal was the investment firm’s first move into the UK hotel market. 

With the NEC and surrounding areas central to future investment plans, which includes HS2, Birmingham Interchange, International Station, the NEC Masterplan, UK Central, and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Henderson Park have deemed this the perfect time to expand.

The hotel will deliver 191 standard bedrooms; 12 of which will be accessible rooms. A fitness room, lounge and dining facilities will be facilitated within the new development, as part of a central hub space.

A reception, dining area and back of house areas will be located on the ground floor, with the fitness room located on the sixth floor.


These renderings from Stride Treglown, the architect of record, shows a bold yet simple design. The hotel has been designed to suit the Hampton by Hilton brand. 

The positioning of the building reflects the sites location within the curtilage of HBM, its proximity to Perimeter Road and the pedestrian pathways that connect the NEC buildings to the car parks

The main hotel is separated into three distinct elements; the central body, rear wings and a podium at ground floor level which wraps the main entrance to the public areas.

The extensive use of glazing on the ground floor podium frames the hotel’s main entrance and public areas, providing visibility and active views through the building to the pedestrian footpath that circles the site and the pedestrian route to the NEC.

The central block is partly hidden by the horizontal bookended wings, with chamfered deep window recesses that will allow for this building to be completed by off-site construction methods.


The arrival space has also been designed by Stride Treglown, which aims to provide a seamless connection to the existing Metropole hotel, HBM, MSCP, and beyond.

Clear and direct access, plus wayfinding through the site to the NEC has been thoroughly thought of.

The entrance plaza converges all routes and movements in and out of the site, with colour surfaces implemented to clearly separate car park from pedestrian route. Taxi drop offs will be provided to the front of the hotel with shared block surfaces for pedestrians and hoteliers alike.

New trees will be planted within the entrance plaza; adding visual interest and unquestionably enhancing the surrounding context.

There will be cycle storage too, with approximately 20 secure cycles directly available to the north of the MSCP.


USE: 440 Standard & 12 accessible = 452 Total Spaces.



CLIENT: Henderson Park Capital
ARCHITECTS (& Landscaping): Stride Treglown
M&E CONSULTANT: Silcock Dawson & Partners


Words by Stephen Giles. Artists impressions from Stride Treglown.

On Instagram? Be sure to follow us over at @Itsyourbirmingham

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
06 Apr 2020 - Stephen Giles

THROWBACK: Construction of Three Snow Hill (2016-2020)

Three Snowhill is the largest (420,000 sqft) and most prestigious commercial development outside of London. We've followed construction every step of the way, dating back from 2016, to building completion. Enjoy these throwback pictures!


Having already completed Snowhill 1 & 2, Three Snowhill was the third and final phase of the Snowhill estate from Irish developer, Ballymore.

The development, funded by M&G Real Estate, and built by BAM Construction, kicked off in late 2016, and when fit-out completes in May 2020, the building will soon house approximately 4,000 workers.

BT have already secured a 283,000 square foot pre-let to be based here.

Enjoy the throwback!

MAY 2016 onwards:






What a superb development! Pictures & words by Stephen Giles

On Instagram? Be sure to follow us: @Itsyourbirmingham

Share  Connect with us
30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
13 Mar 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: Alben Works, 1-2 Legge Lane

ONE TO WATCH: In our series of exciting new developments across the Jewellery Quarter, we look closely at 'Alben Works' - a new mixed-use development at 1-2 Legge Lane from Liv Projekt and Sjölander da Cruz Architects.


Steelwork is taking shape and groundworks are well underway on the site of Alben Works (1-2 Legge Lane), in the Jewellery Quarter.

Liv Projekt - the development company behind Sjölander da Cruz Architects - are developing this plot into a sustainable mixed-use scheme.

The company have been behind many of Birmingham's successful listed-building conversions in recent years. This is their first new build in the city.


The development will yield nine bespoke lofthouses built around a private courtyard at the rear, with live/ work offices fronting onto Legge Lane.

It has been meticulously designed to respect not only the urban and historical contexts of the area, but also that of the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area.

This four-storey frontage building will instantly repair the damaged caused by its predecessor by simply reverting back to a shared rhythm of street frontages.

The building will boast a simple elevational grid; a flat roof; a northern roof light; and large floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Ground floor will comprise of double-height office units, with its upper floors delivering 1 one-bed and two-bed apartments.

Within the courtyard, 9 townhouses are to be constructed as a wing element to the frontage.

These have been designed to present an elegant modern interpretation of the industrial heritage of the area.

This well-designed sustainable development will see both buildings constructed in a simple palette of materials.

10 car parking spaces will be allocated, with each parking place having the infrastructure for electric car charging.

Whilst the rear pedestrianised courtyard could well be dominated by vehicles, it will however provide a shared amenity space for residents; a number of these units will boast external terrace spaces. Snazzy.

All Artists Impressions by Sjölander da Cruz Architects


This site was once home to the Rapid Steel Company that made alben safety razors - hence the name.

However, the former factory had lain empty for several years before the building and a substation were demolished in 2019.

Photo by Liv Property

It's easy to see why the building held a long negative impact on the area, not just economically, but also visually.

It was set back, thus eliminating any kind of shared relationship with its neighbours next door; it basically disrupted the rhythm of builds on Legge Lane. 

As pointed out above, Sjölander Da Cruz have remedied this by bringing the building forward and ensuring the street continues its alignment of curved frontages, whilst being respectful of the listed buildings on the street.

Legge Lane is all the more better with developments like this.


Steelwork is taking shape with groundworks continuing at the front of the site, with the mews houses at the rear progressing nicely.

Such a picturesque street.

Photos by Stephen Giles


STRUCTURAL ENGINEERCouch Consulting Engineers

Words & Pictures by Stephen Giles. Artists Impressions from Sjölander da Cruz Architects.

You can also follow us on Instagram at @Itsyourbirmingham.

Share  Connect with us
20 passion points
Show more