Ruined historic buildings in Birmingham must be demolished to make way for a huge tower block containing over 150 apartments.
Members of the Birmingham City Council planning committee have approved plans to bulldoze the four Victorian properties at the corner of Essex Street and Bristol Street for development.
The project, proposed by Essex Street Properties which has successfully completed the development of 406 The Bank apartments on Sheepcote Street, will see the construction of a 28-storey tower block, containing 154 apartments and a commercial unit on the ground floor.
There will also be a sky garden, a rooftop cinema, a private gym and concierge service.
Councilor Gareth Moore told the Thursday October 8 meeting that the buildings, which date back to the 19th century, were in a dangerous state, adding that Essex Street had recently been closed for fear of collapse.
The plans received some opposition, especially from the Victorian Society who wanted the historic properties to be preserved.
Neighboring businesses also raised objections with a neighboring landowner who said it would damage their property.
Their objection also stated that the proposed development would not be “favorable to the potential future development of their site”.
But Councilor Moore dismissed the claims and criticized “developer nimbyism”, saying the objection was simply “tit for tat”.
He said: “I’m pretty frustrated that we have this developer nimbyism that ‘they can’t have a building permit because it affects our right to develop’.
“So they want to infringe on the other person’s right to develop as well. It seems quite normal. We have developers who oppose other developers who want to do similar projects.
“The site is in shocking condition. Essex Street had to be closed because part of the building was collapsing. Which is a real shame given that these are heritage assets and should have been maintained.
“But given their poor condition, I think something must happen to them. It’s not pleasant and narrow enough for pedestrians.
“So while I’m not particularly excited about the proposed design, it will at least be a positive introduction to what’s out there now. “
After the meeting, Mark Holbeche of Essex St (Properties) Ltd, said: “We are delighted to see our plans for Essex Street approved by Birmingham City Council, and we look forward to proposing another high rise building of high quality. which will help regenerate the city’s Southside.
“Our plans were created to provide more than apartments, but a real sense of community.
“The common spaces that we have included in our plans will help foster this and provide an exciting social element for those who live here.
“The bank has been a fantastic success and we really hope we can create an equally impressive piece of architecture that will help meet Birmingham’s demand for new homes.”