‘Awkward’ plans for 42-storey Broad Street tower set to be refused

Birmingham City Council’s planning committee is set to refuse the “awkward” and “disjointed” redevelopment of 80 Broad Street as “public benefits would not outweigh the substantial harm” found.

HJB Investments submitted plans to change the use and refurbish the Grade II Listed former Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, which most recently operated as Zara’s Bar, Grill and Club before closing in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its place, a 42-storey tower (133.5m) with 300 build-to-rent homes formed plans, as well as a 12,000 sq ft flexible community facility on the fourth floor, with half of the space being within the listed building. A 6,000 sq ft viewing platform named GlassWorks would be attached to the facility and would include a café/exhibition area.

Plans also featured a cycle hub with 300 parking spaces, a 3,500 sq ft outdoor roof terrace, 2,300 sq ft shared amenity space and 8,000 sq ft of landscaped public realm.

Designed by architects at Marrons, 80 Broad Street was estimated to create 299 full-time jobs during the construction phase and once complete, the neighbourhood would contribute £12.2m and £8.8m to the UK and West Midlands economy each year, respectively.

But planning officers have recommended that the scheme is refused as it would result in substantial harm to the listed building due to its “setting and poor design”.

The scheme would fail to provide 35% affordable housing and no viability justification for this has been presented yet, alongside an “inappropriate housing mix”.

Insufficient information on how the development will impact daylight, sunlight and privacy for residents has been recevied, especially in relation to the proposed build at the adjacent 90-92 Broad Street. Documents also mention how 58 Sheepcote Street (Grade II Listed former Barclays Bank) is on 16m away and 210-211 Broad Street is 36m away.

There’s also a lack of information on how the scheme would not prejudice the future development of the Brasshouse site, which is set to be sold.

Birmingham City Council planning committee will discuss 80 Broad Street in a meeting on April 25.

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