Jewellery Quarter apartment scheme poised for approval

How the Newhall Square scheme will look

The residential expansion of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is set to continue with developers poised to receive planning permission for 220 new apartments.

Spitfire Bespoke Homes plans to build the apartments in a new scheme off Newhall Street on what was effectively the former home of the city’s science museum – which was itself the former home of the Elkington electroplating works – before its relocation to Millennium Point.

The development site also includes a separate parcel of land in Charlotte Street, opposite UCB’s McIntyre House.

The plans follow a £45m land deal secured last year by Spitfire Properties, funded by partner IM Properties.

The proposals, set for approval at Thursday’s planning committee, would see the construction of two buildings and change of use of 94 Charlotte Street and two listed buildings known as Whitmore Warehouse and the Portico building to create the apartments.

The blocks would vary in height between five and ten storeys and in addition to the apartments, would include four ground floor commercial units. The overall scheme includes a public square and 61 car parking spaces.

Of the two apartment buildings one would front Newhall Street, the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal and face into the courtyard. This would include the conversion of the Grade II listed Portico building which forms part of 144 Newhall Street.

The other block would front Charlotte Street and the canal, and include the conversion of 94 Charlotte Street. Whitmore Warehouse, a Grade II listed building would be converted and extended to apartments at first and second floor level with retail use at ground floor level. The square adjacent to Whitmore Warehouse will undergo significant improvement.

The new building on Charlotte Street would be five storeys high and would be located between the Stay City aparthotel building and 94 Charlotte Street.

The new building on Newhall Street would have a double height retail/commercial space at ground floor level with five floors of residential accommodation above. Therefore, the building would be equivalent to seven storeys and occupy the space between the Islington Gates apartment scheme and 144 Newhall Street.

Spitfire has agreed to make a Section 106 contribution of £331,500; £300,000 would be allocated to off-site affordable housing in the Jewellery Quarter, while the remaining £31,500 would be allocated to car club/public realm improvements.

In addition, £650,000 would be spent on works to the public square and this will be included in the Section 106 Agreement.

A report to Thursday’s meeting states: “The proposed development offers a high quality residential led mixed use scheme located within an Enterprise Zone within the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area and represents a sustainable brownfield development.

“The proposal would bring two vacant listed buildings back into use, bring a further existing building of architectural merit back into use, would provide a high quality public square as well as contributions for off-site affordable housing and car club.”

Listed building consent for the work is also set to be granted.