City approves 30-storey, 995 home, private rented sector tower

City councillors in Birmingham have approved plans for a 30-storey development of close to 1,000 homes, after officers advised the benefits of the scheme outweighed heritage concerns.

A CGI of the proposed Stone Yard development in Birmingham. Image: Court Collaboration
A CGI of the proposed Stone Yard development in Birmingham. Image: Court Collaboration

Developer Court Collaboration secured full planning permission for its proposed Stone Yard development on the 1.4 hectare site of the Bull Ring Trading Estate. 

Plans include 995 private rented sector apartments, alongside 2,800 square metres of commercial space such as shops, restaurants, a gym, and a cinema.

Concerns were raised by organisations including government body Historic England, which described the proposed development as “excessively tall” and warned it would “exacerbate the cumulative impact” of an increasing number of “out-of-scale” buildings on nearby conservation areas.

Officers advised of “ significant local opposition” to the originally submitted plans, but said changes had since been made in a bid to address these concerns.

Amendments to the originally submitted scheme included an increase in the amount of commercial space, increased links to surrounding areas, reorientation of blocks and design changes intended to increase active frontages.

Officers said the site had been identified in a strategic housing land availability assessment as being a suitable site for residential development, and said other recently consented schemes indicated a “move away from industrial uses in this location”.

They added that a “precedent” for tall buildings in the area had been established through consents for two towers of 25 storeys and 28 storeys on sites either side of the proposed development.

A ten per cent affordable housing contribution was considered acceptable on the basis of a viability assessment submitted in support of the application, officers said.

In conclusion, officers said they attached great weight to the less than substantial harm that would be caused to the significant heritage assets, but found this was outweighed by the provision of housing and economic benefits arising from the development. 

In other news in the city, barristers’ chambers Francis Taylor Building last week announced it had secured permission from the High Court for a judicial review challenge to Birmingham City Council’s granting of planning permission for what is expected to be the city’s second tallest building.

In February this year, Birmingham councillors approved plans for a 37-storey "super slender" tower in the city centre.

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