Stephen J. Giles

Passion Points: 16K

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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20 passion points
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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20 passion points
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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40 passion points
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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20 passion points
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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20 passion points
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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20 passion points
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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20 passion points
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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60 passion points
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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40 passion points
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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30 passion points
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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30 passion points
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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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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05 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: Exciting Plans For 51 Northwood Street Set For Approval

These ambitious redevelopment plans for 51 Northwood Street - right at the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, have been recommended for approval on October 8, with the area set to be turned into a new mixed-use destination.


Brought forward by the sites owner - Digital Emartbuy Ltd, and designed by D5 Architects, the Mary Street and Northwood Street site will see ambitious new plans comprising residential and commercial - all in a group of well-designed, three and four storey new builds.

51 Northwood Street will replace poorly-designed builds harmful to the Conservation Area with a high-quality scheme that will not only enrich the area, but will increase the amount and type of commercial offerings on site, whilst also providing residential apartments in a sustainable location.


27 one and two bedroom apartments will be created, alongside 1,229 sqm of flexible active ground floor commercial usages across the entire site, with as many as 20 small to medium-sized businesses set to transform the site - employing over 200 people.

Subject to a completed Section 106 agreement, the scheme will provide 6 commercial units at 80% of market value (358.7 sqm), something that will help with the sustainability of the Jewellery Quarter as an area seeking to retain and nurture businesses.

Uses could well include retail, offices, restaurant(s), and/or a health centre/clinic. 39% of the development will be commercially-led – with the rest set for residential.

Given the location at the very heart of the Jewellery Quarter, the project is a car free affair, with secure and enclosed cycle storage for 34 provided for residents and workers instead.


All 27 one and two bedroom apartments will be made available for open market sale - comprising 6 one beds (22%), and 21 two bedroom units (78%). 

These dwellings will be provided in various sizes ranging from 50.9 sqm to 96 sqm apartments, catering for two, three and four persons; with all new builds set around a central courtyard amenity space, which will be created for residents and, in equal measure, to the occupiers of the commercial units.

Duplexes will also be created, and they'll have access to private terraces.


To make these ambitious plans a reality, Digital Emartbuy’s premises - a poorly designed two-storey office and warehouse (below) will be demolished before construction can commence.

Redevelopment will then set about repairing and reinstating building frontages back onto the plot.

BEFORE (Northwood Street)


BEFORE (Mary Street)


The dormer building above will be fully commercial.

These exciting plans go to Planning Committee on October 8th, at 11am, with approval recommended. Watch this space!

Words by Stephen, with artists impressions the property of D5 Architects.

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03 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: Cornwall House Redevelopment

THE eagerly anticipated redevelopment of Cornwall House has moved forward with the submittal of a planning application. 

Henry Boot Developments have teamed up with BPN Architects to bring forward vibrant plans for a mixed-use scheme, comprising two apartment blocks & featuring over 5K commercial ground floor uses.


A part 6, part 12 storey apartment block will be built alongside a standalone 3-storey canal-side build, with one and two bedroom apartments - catering for one, two and four persons, created across the site.

Sure to prove popular for Birmingham's independent scene is the inclusion of vibrant ground floor commercial units (476 sqm), with residents also benefiting from on-site amenities such as lounge space, gymnasium, a central courtyard, and an intimate sixth-floor roof terrace. 

A striking three-storey apartment block, with pitched roof and clay tiles, will be cushioned canal-side within the courtyard area.

Apartment sizes across the site will generally range from 44 sqm to 80 sqm - these will be available for market sale.


Located on Ludgate Hill, the site lies within a key area of transition, sitting as it does on the inner-fringes of the Jewellery Quarter and the edge of the city core.

Redevelopment will enhance the area further with these animated ground floor uses, something the adjacent 'Great Charles Street' project from MODA Living also does well - acting as it will as an extension to the lively Ludgate Hill, whilst bridging the gap with the city core.



The scheme will be externally finished in two types of brick as a way of adding variation; these will be dark red (lower levels) & light red-orange (upper levels) with glazed terracotta offering bespoke, decorative detailing, and giving a subtle nod to Birmingham's architectural past.


An undercroft car-park for around 14 vehicles will be accessed via Ludgate Hill, with the main pedestrian entrance via Lionel Street. 100 secure ground floor cycle spaces will be included and will be available to both commercial staff and residents.


Before new life can be breathed back into the site, Cornwall House, a seventies office block, will be demolished.

CORNWALL HOUSE: Google Street View


Words by Stephen, with artists impressions from BPN Architects.

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01 Oct 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Essex Street Tower: 28-Storey Set For Approval

A new slender 28-storey residential tower is set to be developed after plans were recommended for approval next week (October 8) - subject to a s106 agreement. 


Located in Southside, at the junction of Bristol Street and Essex Street, the 28-storey development is being brought forward by Essex Street (Properties) Ltd, and Glancy Nicholls Architects.

The unoccupied site will be demolished and replaced with 154 one, two and three bedroom apartments – all earmarked for private sale, with a double-height entrance on Essex Street, a ground-floor commercial unit with mezzanine facing onto Bristol Street, and a multitude of amenity spaces for residents.

The site already benefits from 2017 approval when Sandpiper Group's 68 unit, 18-storey resi tower was given the nod. Work never materialised, with Sandpiper since selling the site on to Essex Street (Properties) Ltd - who are now proposing a redesign and a 10-storey increase.


The design embraces a classic bronze terracotta design containing a curved corner constructed with the use of curved glass, geometric patterned panels, curtain ground floor glazing, and a distinct crown feature at the very top.

The ground floor base, emphasised below by horizontal panelling, fully integrates with the street by way of active frontages on both Essex Street, and a 232 sqm commercial unit on Bristol Street.

Floors 1-6 facing along Bristol Street will feature translucent grey window films - this is to combat the issue of overlooking on a future redevelopment site.


A double-height reception will welcome residents from Essex Street; the space will feature a foyer, concierge, security room, parcel & post room, along with back of house areas, including a cycle workshop & secure cycle storage area.

Floors 1-27 will provide the living accommodation, with one & two bedroom apartments created alongside a solitary three-bedroom penthouse suite. Apartment sizes will generally range from 49sqm- 93sqm.

The mix will deliver a 45% one & 55% two bed split - the full mix is as follows:

64 one bed (one person); 6 one bed (two persons); 78 two bed (three persons); 5 two bed (four persons); and one 3-bedroom penthouse apartment.

Overall, this equates to 70 one beds, 83 two beds, and 1 three bedroom penthouse. 


Provision for 8 affordable apartments (5.2%) for low cost home ownership at 20% discount has recently been applied to the scheme - these include 7 one beds & 1 two bedroom apartment. This figure, taking into account the construction costs, location, and values, has been reached without affecting the viability of the scheme.


The scheme includes ample amenity space for residents with a multimedia room, gym space and community room at Level 1, plus the inclusion of a roof garden with areas of seating and the potential for a rooftop cinema space.

Due to the sites constrained nature and centralised location - with the prospect of the Midland Metro Tram arriving in the surrounding area in late-2021, early 2022, no on-site parking has been allocated. Cycle storage for 66 cycles will be provided.


Regrettably, these vacant Victorian buildings (31 & 32 Essex Street) will be demolished.

Get ready for more demolition as these aren't the only buildings on the street that are set to make way in the next few years. 

Constructed in 1890, they've been heavily modified over the years, to the extent that much of their character has been lost. Whilst retaining some historic interest, the buildings have fallen into a state of disrepair over the years, as a consequence of neglect.


A number of taller buildings are earmarked in the area - these have either been approved, or are progressing through pre-application talks with officers. There is a clear aspiration for a necklace of tall buildings in the area

Some additional developments haven't been highlighted in these contextual drawings from Glancy Nicholls Architects.

Plans are recommended for approval and go to committee on October 8, at 11am. Subject to approval, it is anticipated that work could begin in 2021.

Words by Stephen, with artists impressions exclusively from Glancy Nicholls Architects.

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Construction & regeneration
24 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: Moseley Train Station

The historic redevelopment of Moseley Station has moved closer to reopening after plans were formally approved today (September 24) at Birmingham City Council's Planning Committee.


The reopening of the historic Camp Hill line - which also includes the approved Kings Heath and Hazelwell Stations - will now see Moseley complete the final piece of the jigsaw that will see the re-introduction of passenger services to the south Birmingham line for the first time since 1941.

Brought forward by Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM) and the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), the team are working with Network Rail and West Midlands Trains, as well as Birmingham City Council, D5 Architects, and Mott Macdonald to lead the exciting development of the new station.

Plans include two 150m long platforms with 50m canopies, seating, pedestrian access from St. Mary's Row, two raised walkways, lifts and stairs to said platforms, ticket vending machines, and a large pedestrian & cyclist walkway forecourt with a circular vehicular drop-off point (see below).

Platforms will be able to accommodate 6 car trains with a standard service provided every 30 minutes. No ticket offices will be delivered but machines will be prominently placed.

Lying within a highly sustainable location in centre of Moseley, ample covered cycle storage provision for 52 bicycles will be situated within a generously sized forecourt.

This will also become a vibrant public space for community uses with the intention to create an attractive new space that best reflects Moseley. 

The reopening of the station allows Kings Norton station to be opened up as an interchange hub, meritoriously connecting Birmingham Moor Street station with areas south of Kings Norton Station ahead of the forecast opening of HS2 (High Speed Rail) - effectively forming part of a fully integrated transport network for the West Midlands.


Bound by Woodbridge Road, St Mary's Row, and lying close to designated Grade II listed heritage assets in St Mary's Church and the War Memorial, the site falls within the all-important Moseley Conservation Area.

No building work is anticipated, however, significant levels of infrastructure will be necessary to facilitate the station, including lifts, hard and soft landscaping, and the incorporation of the new roundel junction to increase traffic flow.

The current station site, lying vacant and offering zero contribution to the area, will be positioned adjacent the Grade II listed church and war memorial, but is generally expected to boost the Conservation Area with the reinstatement of the station line, offering a different mode of travel, as well as seeing the retention of the historic Moseley tunnel and wall.

To mitigate against possible issues, conditions with approval include suitable materials being used, landscaping, and noises from the P.A system will address any potential noise concerns.


Once the station is up and running, the station will be closely monitored over a 6 month period to determine whether any traffic orders will be required. The same will be introduced to Kings Heath and Hazelwell.


There was a lot of conversation from residents concerning a second pedestrian access point to the site from Woodbridge Road. Although it was agreed that it would certainly improve accessibility, it was deemed not financially viable to proceed with at this moment in time. Watch this space!

Words by Stephen Giles. Artists Impressions from D5 Architects & Mott Macdonald.
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16 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

3 Arena Central: A Striking Centrepiece

Cladding is virtually complete on this striking centrepiece of a building, right at the heart of Arena Central. Due to open in autumn 2021, Stephen takes a closer look at the development, and how the building is already transforming Arena Central.


Three Arena Central strikes a distinctive figure on the skyline doesn't it?

At 14-storeys tall, reaching upwards of 73 metres, it will soon become a home from home for several government services, including the new regional HQ for HMRC, in autumn 2021.

Sporting a geometric pattern of hexagonal metallic rainscreen panels, the building sits at the very heart of the Arena Central masterplan where it is already forming a strong identity; wrapping itself entirely around each of the facades to resemble a jewel, or maybe even giving a subtle nod to the former TV show Blockbusters.

The cladding has been divided into a standardised beehive-like grid, so that the rainscreen system can be incorporated throughout. The cladding sports a bright metallic sheen finish, which is in stark contrast to its near neighbours - but that's not to say it doesn't fit in.


MAKE have certainly designed Three Arena Central to be the striking centrepiece of the redevelopment, whilst being fully complimentary of its more established neighbours.

Yes, Arena Central does have an obvious eclectic mix of builds, but they do share, in one form or another, an architectural connection.

Photo by Stephen Giles.

With its angular geometry on full display, there are gentle nods everywhere you look; the double-height pedestrian friendly colonnades highlight this.

Hexagonal in shape, they’re similar in proportion and scale to the nearby Grade-II listed Alpha Tower, and the recently-completed HSBC UK HQ, next door.

Once the building is complete, and it soon will be, they will wrap around three sides of the building and will allow natural light into the recessed first floor, whilst providing an open vista looking outwards onto the new public square.

These hexagonal features have been designed so internal and external views are both the same, which will allow the tessellating pattern to be enjoyed from both perspectives, whilst also delivering areas of floor-to-ceiling glazing.

The building will boast recessed windows; adding depth, whilst the chamfered corners will naturally frame the building.

Photo by Daniel Sturley.

Photo by Stephen Giles.

This not only connects the relationship between them, but it also connects the dots for the impending public realms at Bank Court (adjacent, complete with water feature), and The Terrace - near Holliday Inn Express.

Arena Central Webcam: September 15 2020.


The strategy is quite simple: let the building do the talking! But that’s not to say the building won’t be washed with light.

The ground floor will be internally lit and will be occupied by units. The colonnades will also be uplit, with the metallic finish of the cladding assisting in illuminating the area even further.

The projecting metallic ‘hoods’ will also reflect light to provide a striking view when seen from below. Offices above, subject to operations, will too be lit.

This will undoubtedly create a random pattern of illumination that will complement the facades tessellating pattern, and become an Instagrammers dream.

With external works nearing completion, the internal fit-out - awarded to ISG - will commence in November and will complete in autumn 2021.

Words and pictures from Stephen Giles, with contributions from Daniel Sturley. Artists Impressions are from MAKE Architects.

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14 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles

Construction of The Oynx - April 2018- September 2020

The Oynx is in the final stages of completion, with students now moving into the building.

Stephen, Reiss, and Alan have followed this landmark student development every step of the way - dating back to April 2018. For all the images, including details on the project & renders, hit the post below.


Construction is reaching its climax at The Oynx - a 1,025 bed purpose built student accommodation development located at Lancaster Circus.

Reaching 24 storeys (76m), the development sits on one of the most prominent sites in this area of the city, with close access to both Aston and Birmingham City Universities.

The scheme comprises two separate builds of 9-13 and 24 storeys, with extensive shared spaces available, including common rooms, study zones, health and fitness areas, and a cinema and living room on the 24th floor - offering views over the city.

An external communal amenity space is also provided within a central courtyard area opening out onto the south of the site.

Zero car parking provision has been allocated, however, a dedicated pick-up/drop-off area will be provided on Vesey Street.

In terms of bicycle storage, 256 secure spaces will be located on the lower ground floor.

Artists Impressions from Urban Innovations.

The development is being developed by MRP - the property and investment division of McAleer & Rushe. Urban Innovations are the architect of record, with AIG Global Real Estate forward funding the scheme to the tune of £100m - the largest PBSA deal in the UK, as well as the highest value deal outside of London.


September 12-13 2020:

Students are now moving into the building. There's still a few more tweaks to go before this one is completed! Also, a large 'To Let' sign hangs on the ground floor which could potentially offer some much needed commercial activity into the area.

September 4-10:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

JulyNew signage up!


Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry.


Photo by Sherp.



Photos by Stephen Giles.


Photos by Alan Webb.


Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry.


Photos by Stephen Giles.


Photo by Reiss Gordon-Henry.


Photo by John Egan.






Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry.

Photos by Stephen Giles.

Words by Stephen Giles, with artists impressions from Urban Innovations.

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09 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles

The Construction of Symphony Hall - August & Early September 2020

A superb gallery from Daniel, Elliott and Stephen in this August and early September update, with the project now on the home straight to completion!

Click the post for a new render and some exclusive interior pictures from Galliford Try Construction - many thanks to them for sharing. 



The internal scaffolding has come down to reveal the new extended space that'll feature the new foyer and performance spaces. Take a look around and you'll see some cool new seating in the form of cascading stairs and integrated balconies.

All images the property of Galliford Try Construction.


Artist Impressions from Page/Park Architects.


September 5-7: 

Photos by Stephen Giles.

September 4:

August 29:

August 19: Pouring down with rain..

August 13-16:

Symphony Hall

Symphony Hall

Symphony Hall

Symphony Hall

August 7:

August 1:

Photos by Elliott Brown.

August 7-8:

Photos by Daniel Sturley.

August 3:

Photos by Stephen Giles.


DEVELOPER: Birmingham Performances Ltd
ARCHITECTS: Page\Park Architects
CONTRACTOR: Galliford Try Construction
PROJECT MANAGER: David Stanley Consulting
Words & pictures from Stephen, with additional photos from Daniel & Elliott.
Artists Impressions from Page/Park Architects; Interior images from Galliford Try Construction.
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Construction & regeneration
03 Sep 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

JQ PROJECTS: The Lamp Works

The Lamp Works, located on Great Hampton Street, has moved to the next stage of development with the formal signing of a Section 106 agreement – paving the way for the redevelopment of a rundown site.

For all renderings and a thorough lowdown on the scheme from Stephen, click 'View full post'.


Blackswan Property (*Blackswan Developments (Barr Street) Ltd*) are bringing forward plans to construct 129 apartments within Birmingham's famous Jewellery Quarter, after a section 106 agreement was formally agreed this week (September 2020).

Six months on from gaining planning approval, The Lamp Works, bound by Great Hampton Street and Barr Street, will see the retention, conversion and partial demolition of existing, rundown buildings, and the erection of four/five storey new builds.

The development, designed by BPN Architects, will create a total of 129 one, two and three bed apartments, a ground floor commercial unit and inner courtyard; alongside car and cycle spaces.

A total floorspace of 11,852 sqm will be created, with 1,587 sqm primarily for commercial uses.

The residential element will deliver a total of 64 one, 54 two, and 11 three bed apartments – mainly available for rent.

To break this down even further: 14 one bed/one person apartments; 40 one bed/two person; 51 two bed/three person; 13 duplexes (10 one bed/two person & 3 two bed/four person); and 11 three bed/6 person apartments, will be provided.

13 of these (8 one & 5 two beds) will be available for low cost market rent; thereby adding to the accommodation mix.

20 vehicular spaces (15% provision) will serve the development, with an entrance onto Barr Street accommodating a small car park. 5 secure cycle stores providing up to 132 cycle spaces will also be incorporated.


A series of rundown industrial builds on Great Hampton Street and Barr Street will be demolished, despite protestations from Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT), and Historic England.

Concerns were duly raised from both, believing demolition would cause significant harm to the fabric of Barr Street, and that the replacement builds were also too overbearing.

They did concede, however, that the Great Hampton Street building demolitions were justified.

In the end, Lamp Works required a careful balancing of the objections to the development against the huge public benefits of allowing the demolition and erection of these replacement builds.

** The site now has a clear route for the regeneration of what is essentially a rundown area, with the introduction of viable new uses, the restoration of historic buildings, the inclusion of courtyards and the construction of high-quality new buildings, in an area badly needing investment.


As outlined below, every building except 30-33 Great Hampton Street - occupied by Blue Nile restaurant - will be consigned to the history books.

These include the 2-3 storey buildings facing onto Great Hampton Street, home to Xtreme Mobiles, Vapour Devil and Mobile Base.

Great Hampton Street: Google Street View

On Barr Street, a line of six 2-3 storey buildings, currently vacant or being used as ad hoc storage will also be demolished.

In the centre of the site, the development team wish to retain a 3-storey skeletal steel frame from one of the buildings to act as the focus for a new courtyard space.

Barr Street: Google Street View


Blue Nile restaurant at 30 Great Hampton Street, is to be retained and refurbished, with first and second floors converted to provide 2 one bed & 2 two bedroom apartments.

New traditional shop fronts will be installed with new windows, brickwork and roofs fully restored.

The adjoining building at 33 Great Hampton Street is also set to be converted into a unit (usage yet to be decided) of 355 sqm on the ground floor, and one of 324 sqm on the first floor.


Five new builds of between 4 and 5 storeys will be constructed across the site.

Building A will see a four and five storey structure with a small single storey wing to the rear. It will provide 17 apartments, a ground floor commercial unit & a new internal courtyard.

Directly behind Building A will be three buildings of 4-storeys: B (27 units), C (20 units) and E (2 units).

Each build will be arranged around a central courtyard space which will accommodate the retained open steel frame, as seen below.

Building D (70 apartments) is to be 5 storeys tall and will front out onto Barr Street and the North West side of the courtyard area; it will also accommodate vehicular access into the site.

Buildings B-E will also provide apartment space.

Words by Stephen Giles. Artists Impressions from BPN Architects & Blackswan Property.

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Construction & regeneration
26 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles

APPROVED: HS2 Interchange Station & Automated People Mover

HS2 Interchange Station and an Automated People Mover have been formally approved!

The new environmentally-friendly station will seamlessly integrate with Birmingham Airport, International Station, the NEC, and other modes of transport to become the best-connected place in the UK. For full renderings of the new station and its exciting new APM - click the link below.


HS2 Interchange will be the best-connected place in the UK by rail, air and road with customers able to reach London Euston in a mere 38 minutes.

The Station, designed to focus on open space and landscaping, will deliver two 415 metre long island platforms, offering 4 platform faces, as well as 2 central high speed through lines for non-stop services.

Interchange will be linked to the NEC (National Exhibition Centre), Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport via an automated people mover carrying up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction, with a link every three minutes along the 2.3km route.

In addition to the APM, the station will be fully integrated with buses, taxis and private vehicle options. 

Net zero carbon in operation, the station will adopt the latest environmentally friendly design and sustainable technologies including harvesting of rainwater and sustainable power generation with solar panels. 


Located within a triangle of land bound by the M42, A45 and A452, the site is already well underway with regards to preparatory work. Modular bridge structures are now being put in place on the site of the station, with a remodelling of the road network set to facilitate new access. Work is now set to ramp up in the coming months ahead.



NEC stop & over Pendigo Lake:

Birmingham Airport Stop:


Interchange Stop:


Words by Stephen Giles; Artists Impressions from HS2 Ltd & ARUP.

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26 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles

The Construction of The Mercian - July and August 2020

We've now reached the 27th floor on the main tower, with the main core now sitting pretty on level 29/30. It won’t be long now before it exceeds the 100m mark and saunters above Bank Tower II, adjacent.

Plenty of images here from our trusty team, with images going back to mid-July. Enjoy!


The Mercian: Moda Reachtimelapse

Works have started in earnest on the 27th floor of this 42-storey development (132m), as seen above, with the core also continuing its upward surge and is almost at the 100m stage.

Facade works on the main tower is noticeably well advanced too; now wrapping itself around level 12, with the already topped-out 14-storey shoulder reaching the penultimate floor. Enjoy the mega update from Daniel, Stephen & Elliott.

17th August:

14-16th August:

2-3rd August:

16-31st July:

Photos by Daniel Sturley

21st July:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

11th August:

The Mercian

The Mercian

31st July:

The Mercian

25th July:

The Mercian

The Mercian

14th July:

The Mercian

The MercianPhotos by Elliott Brown.

Words by Stephen Giles.

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24 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles

Construction of Lionel House: June 2019- August 2020

A new residential development is in full swing on Lionel Street. Lionel House, replaces a tired old Multi-storey car park and will, once complete, deliver much needed footfall in an area undergoing change. 

Stephen provides the details regarding the development, with full renderings and update shots from June 2019- to the present day.


Lionel House is a new 14-storey build-to-rent (BTR) apartment complex project from Lionel House Developments Ltd and Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI).

The new building, on Lionel Street, replaces a tired looking 10-storey MSCP (Multi-storey car park), with the replacement building design meticulously referencing the materials of the surrounding buildings with its use of angled brickwork and precast stone panels - as seen below.

Landrow Place...

Artists Impressions from Benchmark Architects

Lionel House will comprise 259 one, two and three bedroom managed apartments, with the building delivering a residential mix of 156 one-bed, 90 two-bed and 13 three-bedroom apartments. But that's not all.

11,250 sqft amenity space will be primarily located on the ground floor, with full LED lighting & communal areas that'll feature a fitness room and kitchen, a 17-space car park and cycle storage for every resident.

A landscaped rooftop terrace is also incorporated and has been designed to give residents access to social rooms and an external social space with views over the city. 


Demolished MSCP: Google Street View

Lionel House is scheduled to complete in October 2021. Be sure to keep up to date on this development by following our Twitter account, and our Instagram.

PROGRESS UPDATE (Aug 2019-Aug 2020)

August 2020:

August 24 -

Image: Winvic Reachtimelapse

August 20-

Photo by Metrogogo.

August 18-

Image: Winvic Reachtimelapse




The structure starts to make an appearance on the skyline, this time from Sandpits:

Photos by Stephen Giles.

Photos by Daniel Sturley.


August 21 2019:

Piling rig in situ.

June 6 2019:

Demolition shots..

Photos by Alan Webb.

Words by Stephen Giles.
Artist Impressions & webcam: Benchmark Architects & Winvic Construction.
TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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Construction & regeneration
17 Aug 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: 122 Moseley Street, Digbeth

122 Moseley Street, Digbeth, was approved at Planning Committee on Thursday morning (August 13), with the derelict site free to deliver residential apartments. Click 'View Full Post' for more on redevelopment plans.


122 Moseley Street: Site plan

After two years of talks, 122 Moseley Street was finally approved 8-4 at planning committee on Thursday (August 13), with the developer, Tindlesouth Ltd, now free to commence work on site.

Designed by Sjölander da Cruz Architects, plans will see the demolition of a vacant, former vehicle workshop, and the construction of a replacement 5-storey building comprising 29 one and two bedroom apartments.

Importantly, the scheme brings back to life a derelict site with a sustainable redevelopment within the emerging Rea Urban Valley Quarter, which will deliver 10 one bed (34%) & 19 two bedroom apartments (66%).

The site will fit the plot fronting Moseley Street and Highgate Park to the rear - as seen in the site plan above.

Apartments will be arranged around a landscaped central courtyard that will be accessed by residents and space for 20 cycles.

Moseley Street elevation

Highgate Park elevation


The site is flanked by two businesses: Flex Fitness to the west & Cleary Irish Bar to the east, which had caused local residents to initially object to the 2018 scheme.

Residents highlighted potential issues relating to noise, explaining that the (noise) report submitted by the applicant was ‘fundamentally flawed’, as it didn't take into account that Clearys Bar has a 3:30am license to play live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2pm- midnight on Sundays.

After two years of talks, plans were thoroughly examined by officers and duly amended; apartments have since been repositioned away from the public house, with various walls in between offering further insulation.

Noise mitigation measures are in place moving forward, with the implementation of ventilation and specific glazing.

"The principle of residential development would accord with development plan policy at this location whilst the potential impact upon the future residential occupiers, as a result of the adjacent pub, has been considered in great detail and with the conditions attached would be mitigated to an acceptable level." - Birmingham City Council.

In terms of materiality, 122 Moseley Street will be constructed in lighter brick tones and darker recessed brick adjoining the windows.

The developer reaffirmed their stance that the policy compliant 35% affordable housing provision wasn't realistic to commence with, and would have made the development unviable; a sum of £58K, however, was previously agreed (August 2018) for the provision of off-site affordable housing.

Words by Stephen Giles.
Drawings by Sjölander da Cruz Architects
TWITTER: @Buildsweare

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