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Construction & regeneration
21 Jan 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Stirchley: Affordable Housing & Retail Units

Stirchley Co-operative, in collaboration with Accord Housing, has today secured approval to reinvigorate a dormant site by delivering new affordable housing & ground floor retail units for local businesses.

Click the link for more.

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Stirchley: Affordable Housing & Retail Units





Stirchley Co-operative, in collaboration with Accord Housing, has today secured approval to reinvigorate a dormant site by delivering new affordable housing & ground floor retail units for local businesses.

Click the link for more.


Stirchley Co-operative Development (SCD) is a local community group comprising five housing and worker co-operatives intending to build affordable and eco-friendly residential and retail premises in the heart of Stirchley.

This mixed-use redevelopment, located at 1386-1392 Pershore Road, will contribute to the regeneration of the area by delivering much needed affordable housing & providing local Co-op businesses with prominent ground floor retail space.

39 one, two and three bedroom apartments (1-4 persons) will be created alongside 3 ground floor retail units - all within a sustainable timber framed, cream cladded three-storey new build.

All apartments will be for affordable rent, subject to a s106 agreement - thanks to funding from Homes England - with homes made available through Accord Housing.

A communal lounge, laundry room and a kitchen diner will supplement these homes; alongside a 670sqm rooftop garden & a 660sqm communal courtyard space.

Stirchley-based businesses that form part of the Co-operative will take up residence on the ground floor (738sqm). These will include:

  1. Artefact (artist-led gallery & community space);

  2. Birmingham Bike Foundry (bicycle repairs, refurbishment and training);

  3. Loaf (loaf social enterprise is a bakery and cookery school).

NOISE MITIGATION MEASURES

Given that the site is next to a major road & the Grade II listed, British Oak Public House - who have a substantial beer garden, many issues raised were understandably noise related.

Noise surveys were undertaken in recent months to nullify any potential issues that may crop up in the future. Measures implemented will see residents’ supplied with enhanced glazing & mechanical ventilation systems that can be used should their windows be closed.

PARKING

Given the sustainable location, with a new train station set to arrive soon, and with ample bus links on offer, zero car parking has been allocated here; however, 128 cycle spaces will be provided within the courtyard area.

All images are the property of Indesign, Accord Group's in-house architectural firm.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
18 Jan 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Selly Oak Student Scheme: Amended Plans

REVISED plans have gone in for a 510-bed canalside student redevelopment on Elliott Road, Selly Oak.

With a new architect also on board, the scheme has been drastically improved to directly connect to arguably Birmingham's biggest asset - its canal system.

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Selly Oak Student Scheme: Amended Plans





REVISED plans have gone in for a 510-bed canalside student redevelopment on Elliott Road, Selly Oak.

With a new architect also on board, the scheme has been drastically improved to directly connect to arguably Birmingham's biggest asset - its canal system.


Located at ‘Selly Oak Industrial Estate, Units 5-8, Elliott Road‘, the amended proposal - brought forward by Watkins Jones Group - will see the site reconnect with arguably Birmingham’s biggest asset - its canal, through the demolition of vacant industrial builds (as seen above) before redevelopment can deliver:

  • Part 5-8 storey accommodation;
  • 510 student beds (130 studios/380 clusters);
  • 11 contemporary townhouses along Elliott Road;
  • Central courtyard gardens;
  • Secure Indoor & outdoor amenity spaces;
  • Zero parking/ 128 cycles;
  • NEW fluid connections to the canal towpath and beyond.

With a new design team in place, Glenn Howells Architects & Layer Studio Landscape have set about delivering on three main principles in redesigning the scheme. These are:

  • Establishing a fluid connection to the Canal;
  • Creating a green campus;
  • Providing connected routes all around the site.

An expansive courtyard garden will become the beating heart of the scheme, providing students with sufficient space to study and relax - or simply to collect their bike before venturing out and about. 

Lively amenity spaces (gym, lounges and study spaces) will be located at ground floor level, with the area set to bring much-needed activity and interest to the canal system and its new area of public realm.

Eleven contemporary townhouses will be positioned along Elliott Road - these have been purposely designed in response to the scale and context of the neighbouring area.

Before & after:

With considerable demand for PBSA in Selly Oak and across the city, Fresh Student Living - formed in 2010 by Watkins Jones Group - will operate the scheme if/when the scheme gets the go-ahead in the coming months.

Certainly one to keep an eye on!

All images the property of Glenn Howells Architects

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
11 Jan 2021 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The Construction of The Mercian - Early January 2021 Update

The Mercian on Broad Street is nearing structural completion as the core is finished at floor 42, reaching its full height, the slip-form being removed over the weekend. The main structure is soon to rise again with final top-out not far away now. Above: The Mercian on the Westside city skyline on 10th January 2021.

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The Construction of The Mercian - Early January 2021 Update





The Mercian on Broad Street is nearing structural completion as the core is finished at floor 42, reaching its full height, the slip-form being removed over the weekend. The main structure is soon to rise again with final top-out not far away now. Above: The Mercian on the Westside city skyline on 10th January 2021.


21st December - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

24th December - Photo by Elliott Brown

 

25th December - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

27th December - Photo by Elliott Brown

 

27th December - Photo by Elliott Brown

 

31st December - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

1st January 2021 - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

1st January 2021 - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

1st January 2021 - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

1st January 2021 - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

3rd January 2021 - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

7th January 2021 - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

8th January 2021 - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

9th January 2021 - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

10th January 2021 - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

8th January 2021 - Photo by Daniel Sturley

 

There are now nearly 1000 photos of the construction of this building and can be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: The Mercian Full Construction Gallery.

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Construction & regeneration
07 Jan 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: Bradford Street/Moseley Road

A residential redevelopment comprising 78 apartments has today been approved for Digbeth.

Brought forward by Home Nation Ltd & designed by K4 Architects, the site is located at the junction of Bradford Street & Moseley Road - and within the Rea Valley Urban Quarter.

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APPROVED: Bradford Street/Moseley Road





A residential redevelopment comprising 78 apartments has today been approved for Digbeth.

Brought forward by Home Nation Ltd & designed by K4 Architects, the site is located at the junction of Bradford Street & Moseley Road - and within the Rea Valley Urban Quarter.


Another residential scheme for Digbeth has been approved! Another grim, vacant plot set to be redeveloped!

Currently, home to a retail unit and a dwelling at 5 & 11 Moseley Street, Home Nation Ltd last year acquired the site off Rochda Ltd, and with committee overwhelmingly backing the proposals, the site is free to be demolished.

Although objections were raised by local residents and groups regarding scale, massing and materiality, committee considered the proposal a real positive addition to the city in a prominent corner location that badly needs reviving!

PLANS

The site will see a part 5, 6 & 8 storey apartment block, and the retention & restoration of a listed workshop at the rear - delivering 78 one, two and three bedroom units (40sqm to 88sqm) in a range of variants that will cater for one, two, three, four and five persons.

A central courtyard area will add external communal amenity space for residents’, alongside roof gardens/private external amenity space on the upper levels.

The two storey listed building on site will be fully restored (great news!) and will keep much, if not all, of its original features, where possible.

It’ll be converted into 2 two bed/four person apartments and will become a major focal point of the new courtyard.

CURRENT STATE
 
 
 
Images: Birmingham City Council/K4 Architects

The principal building will be constructed in a series of blue brick piers, setting out a grid of full height window bays. Louvres to the top of windows feature throughout the building with stone cast sills.

Zero on-site car parking spaces is provided, however, a cycle store with 78 cycle spaces will be incorporated instead.

An appraisal of the applicant’s viability report shows that eight (10.26%) apartments will be available for low-cost home ownership, subject to a s106 legal agreement.

The development was approved 6-2.  Watch this space for more updates on this project!

All drawings & renderings the property of K4 Architects.

TWITTER: Buildsweare
INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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20 passion points
Construction & regeneration
07 Jan 2021 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

APPROVED: 48-storey Irish Tower

Irish Tower has now been approved!

The developer is now free to replace an unattractive, vacant site by delivering 454 build to rent apartments within a 48 storey leaf-shaped skyscraper.

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APPROVED: 48-storey Irish Tower





Irish Tower has now been approved!

The developer is now free to replace an unattractive, vacant site by delivering 454 build to rent apartments within a 48 storey leaf-shaped skyscraper.


This highly sustainable site, in dire need of investment, is now free - subject to a S106 legal agreement & safeguarding conditions - to deliver 181 one & 273 two bedroom apartments (1-4 persons) alongside around 10K of amenity spaces.

Ground floor, mezzanine, first floor, and a landmark 48th floor Sky Lounge will provide the amenity for residents; although not confirmed, these are likely to contain lounges, co-working space, dining areas, a cinema room, and an exclusive bar for inhabitants.

STONE YARD (WEST) CLOSED TO VEHICULAR TRAFFIC

Developer Court Collaboration and Birmingham City Council have also agreed, via a TRO process, that Stone Yard (West) be closed to vehicular traffic, thus allowing for £526,422 of all-important improvements to be made to the public realm.

The space will be open for pedestrians and cyclists and will tie in with future developments and the imminent Midland Metro Tram expansion along High Street–all set to kick off this year.

So, for those reasons above, Irish Tower will be a car-free affair; however, a minimum 122 cycle parking spaces will be provided - amounting to 35% provision.

'48 STOREY DEEMED ACCEPTABLE'

The principle of a 48 storey development was deemed acceptable from the outset.

It's also accepted that it will cause less than substantial harm to the setting of both conservation areas and several designated and non-designated heritage assets in the area. 

With additional information submitted to address concerns raised, councillors too accepted that the public benefits outweigh the harm identified. Those benefits include:

  • A recognisable landmark building that will contribute to the legibility of the city in an area set to undergo transformational change in the near future;
  • Enhancing the street scene with the removal of run-down buildings;
  • Introduction of a new area of public realm - one that adheres to the aspirations of the Rea Valley Urban Quarter SPD.
  • Green roofs to help biodiversity;
  • 454 much needed new homes;
  • Resident spending by helping to sustain shops and businesses in the area;
  • Increased jobs within the industry offering apprenticeships and training opportunities.

BUT WHY BUILD TALL HERE?

Since the High Places document was first adopted in 2003, more advice on talls has been provided in the Big City Plan (2011), Birmingham Development Plan (2017) and the Rea Valley Urban Quarter SPD (2019). These policy documents advise that tall buildings beyond the designated zone may be permitted. 

It is highlighted that High Street Deritend "presents the opportunity to create a street of city scale with a strong identity and character”, with good quality design and connectivity. 

As part of this vision, the Council's BDP includes this area in city centre policies & stipulates that existing buildings that detract from the quality of the place should be replaced - reflected here in the demolition of the former Irish Centre.

As we already know, several tall buildings have already been permitted along the route of this street - think Connaught Square, Lunar Rise, etc.

It's also widely acknowledged that the adjacent Digbeth Quarter is a separate quarter, with its own distinct character.

AFFORDABILITY FACTOR

Perhaps a slight disappointmenthere is that Irish Tower cannot sustain the preferred 35% affordable housing contribution without rendering the development unviable to proceed with.

However, 14 units (3%) WILL be made available for 'affordable private rent' at 80% of market rent in perpetuity.

Given the public realm improvements also factored in and costing over half a million, this reflects an equivalent financial provision of 6%.

If the public realm works costs well below the total above, then the remaining monies will be used towards off-site affordable housing.

All images are the property of Glancy Nicholls Architects.

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INSTAGRAM: Itsyourbirmingham

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