48-storey tower set for approval despite demolition of locally-listed landmark

Plans for a 48-storey residential tower in Birmingham city centre have been recommended for approval at the council’s planning committee next week.

CEG has ambitions to deliver up to 1,750 build-to-rent apartments on the site of the Ringway Centre at Smallbrook Queensway over three phases of development.

The Ringway is a Grade B locally-listed building. Birmingham Civic Society has objected, saying the demolition is “shortsighted” and would “result in the loss of one of the most important buildings of
the era in the city”.

Historic England has also lodged its concerns about the potential impact on the historic environment, given the height of the planned development, and added “it is not clear exactly what ‘positive efforts’ have been undertaken in order to ensure the Centre’s preservation”.

Birmingham City Council’s planning committee will decide next Thursday on the first phase – the demolition of the three existing buildings and the first proposed 547-apartment tower – and to consider an outline planning application for two other buildings.

The first building, SBQ 3, would have 245 1-bed, 270 2-bed, and 32 3-bed apartments.

SBQ 1 and SBQ 2 propose another 1,085 apartments in 44 and 56-storey towers.

Although the outline proposals would mean the scheme has a total of 1,635 units, the overall hybrid planning application is seeking planning permission for a total of up to 1,750 units. There would also be up to 76,000 sq ft of commercial floorspace.

Phase 1 of the scheme would see the partial demolition of the Ringway Centre and the development of the first tower.

The next two towers could then come forward in a second phase or in two independent phases, following the demolition of the remaining building on the site.

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