Major plans for office space in city centre voted down

Colmore Gate. Credit: Google Earth

Major plans for the regeneration  of Colmore Gate by Ashtrom Properties have been refused by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee.

Objections were originally 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. 

Historic England suggested that reducing the tower height and harmonising the building’s exterior with the surroundings could help preserve the site’s heritage.

The proposal was initially presented in August by AP Colmore (a subsidiary of Ashtrom Properties) and reviewed by the planning committee on December 21. It was then postponed to explore the possibility of revising the plans to address concerns.

Colmore Gate currently comprises 171,834 sq ft of office and retail space spread over 18 floors, along with 86 basement parking spaces.

During the meeting, it was determined that making such alterations would render the project unviable.

Cllr Gareth Moore criticised the scheme as “inappropriate,” agreeing with Historic England’s concerns about the building’s height. He emphasised the importance of protecting the conservation grounds on which the building stands.

The project faced a split decision, with four members supporting the scheme and four raising objections. This led to the chair of the planning committee casting the deciding vote, resulting in the scheme’s rejection.


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