Birmingham skyscraper plans recommended for refusal

Image caption, A council report has expressed concerns over heritage harm and the structural integrity of the listed building

  • Author, Alexander Brock
  • Role, Local Democracy Reporter, Birmingham

Plans for a 42-storey skyscraper in Birmingham city centre at the site of a historic former hospital have been recommended for refusal.

The proposals for 80 Broad Street would see the huge new tower attached directly to a Grade II listed building while also “oversailing” directly over it, creating 300 new apartments.

A report, set to be discussed by the city council’s planning committee, suggested this would “significantly overwhelm” the three-storey listed building, which was now vacant and unused.

According to the council officer’s report, the plans attracted objections from organisations such as Historic England, The Georgian Group, The Victorian Society and The Birmingham Civic Society, due to concerns over “heritage harm”.

The historic building was once the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital and was most recently used as a bar, restaurant and nightclub.

As well as the tower and the 300 apartments it would provide, the planning application includes proposals for an internal viewing platform to create a “flexible community space” and for the installation of 300 cycle spaces.

However, the report said the skyscraper would “significantly overwhelm” the listed building and there were “serious concerns” for the structural integrity of the listed building should the proposed new development be constructed.

The report continued that the development could “severely compromise any legible appreciation and understanding of how this building sat historically in its setting on Broad Street”.

“The heritage harm represents a clear reason for refusal for the protection of an asset of particular importance,” it concluded.

Charlotte El Hakiem, planning director at Marrons, who led the application, previously said: “The proposal takes a distinctive and innovative approach that allows for the retention and careful repurposing of a Grade II-listed building to bring it back into public use, while simultaneously creating a striking 42-storey landmark tower that contains much-needed housing to accommodate the city’s ever-growing population.”

The planning application, submitted by Marrons on behalf of HJB Investments, will be considered by the council’s planning committee on 25 April.

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