Revised plans approved for UCB’s Jewellery Quarter expansion

The James Cond building - integral to the UCB scheme

Revised plans for the redevelopment of a Birmingham printers to accommodate a new campus for University College Birmingham have been approved.

The original plans – rejected last year – proposed the demolition of the former Lodge Cotrell building at 21 George Street and the partial demolition of the former James Cond building at 9 Charlotte Street and 12 George Street.

They were to be replaced by new university buildings with retail, restaurant, offices, health facility and sports hall uses plus a multi-storey car park with access from George Street.

Somewhat controversially, the scheme also proposed the closure of Holland Street to traffic and the installation of a covered walkway installed over a pedestrianised area.

The revised scheme, approved by Birmingham’s planning committee, will provide 13,141 sqm of floor space within a new four storey educational building located at the junction of Holland Street and George Street, plus a 158-space multi-storey car park fronting George Street together with 13 surface parking spaces within the existing service yard to the rear.

The new teaching building would accommodate a kitchen and diner, breakout space, offices and entrance/reception on the ground floor, teaching space and staff offices on the first and second floors and sports teaching facilities and staff offices on the third floor including a gym, and changing rooms.

This revised scheme has been reduced in scale from the proposals rejected last year with the issues previously considered to be contentious removed from the application, namely, the closure of Holland Street and its change of use to a private campus space.

UCB said the proposals would consolidate the university’s operations in this part of the Jewellery Quarter and form the on-going development of the campus. Longer term aspirations may see the buildings fronting the Parade and the other side of Holland Street redeveloped to provide a main entrance to the campus from the main road network to increase the profile of the university.

The new building would have a height of between 18–19 metres to the parapet fronting George and Holland Streets, increasing to 21-22 metres to the top of the plant enclosure. It is proposed that there would be a 12-metre wide gap between the new building and McIntyre House on the Holland Street frontage which comprises the existing landscaped courtyard which would be enlarged to include a new raised terrace area for external seating in association with the new dining area. The courtyard would be enclosed on the Holland Street frontage with 4 metre high steel gates.

The development also includes works to the McIntyre House Building (Phase 1 of the UCB campus), adjacent to the courtyard on Holland Street where a small element of wall of the previous building on site was retained. This would now be removed and replaced with new brickwork to match the rest of the building.

The other new building proposed would be located fronting George Street between the new teaching building and the route of Whitmore Arm. The building would predominantly be used as a multi-storey car park with 158 spaces and access from George Street.

At ground floor level an exhibition area and community health facility are proposed facing the street to provide active floor space facing the street and the side return to the Whitmore Arm.