Green light for 48-storey tower despite demolition of locally-listed landmark

Plans for a 48-storey residential tower in Birmingham city centre have been given the go-ahead.

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 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 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 has now decided on the first phase – the demolition of the three existing buildings and the first proposed 547-apartment tower – and will 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.

James Shimwell, head of residential development at CEG, said: “We are delighted with today’s decision to approve the redevelopment of the Smallbrook Queensway Buildings as it allows us to deliver 1,750 new homes on Birmingham’s best-connected brownfield site.

“Our proposals will transform the gateway to Southside – creating safer public places and drastically improving the pedestrian links between New Street station, Digbeth and Smithfield. New public spaces will revitalise the area, attracting new visitors and boosting local businesses.

“Over the last decade, we have managed an investment of over £20 million into Birmingham, transforming our Alpha Tower and Tricorn House buildings and creating the highest quality business communities. We look forward to delivering another exemplary, innovative and sustainable development that will prove to be a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the area.”

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...