Major redevelopment of CBD building to be approved, despite Historic England concerns

Colmore Gate. Credit: Google Earth

Ashtrom Properties redevelopment of Colmore Gate is set to be approved by Birmingham City Council, after a decision was deferred due to Historic England concerns.

Objections were raised over plans to refurbish and extend the existing building to create a 26-storey tower and a 10-storey shoulder building, comprising more than 510,000 sq ft of Grade A office space. 

Colmore Gate currently features 171,834 sq ft of office and retail space across 18 storeys and 86 basement car parking spaces.

Historic England believes harm to the heritage of the site could be lessened if the tower height was reduced and the external appearance of the building would reflect the local area. 

The application was brought before the planning committee on December 21, and postponed to look into whether an amended scheme could be considered to address concerns. 

But planning officers have judged that no amendments will be made to the redevelopment, as reducing the proposed height or mass of the building would render the scheme unviable. 

The report also says that the design of the scheme in its central business district context is “acceptable and a betterment on the existing architecture”. 

It’s been recommended for approval at the council’s next planning meeting on February 22.

Plans were submitted in August by AP Colmore (a subsidiary of Ashtrom Properties), is working alongside Lichfields and Buckley Gray Yeoman (BGY). Economic benefits include 562 full-time construction jobs on the £87.6m GVA redevelopment, and on completion, 2,796 jobs will be generated as well as £209.3m of GVA per year. 

Through the re-use of the building, which is targeting BREEAM Excellent, 87% of the existing foundations and structure will be recycled and 99 car parking spaces will be removed to create a car-free scheme. 

The council will meet to discuss the scheme on February 22.

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