Locally listed Birmingham building under threat of demolition to make way for a skyscraper in Digbeth

Plans to build a residential skyscraper in Digbeth, Birmingham, have raised conservation concerns
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Plans for four new buildings in Digbeth, including a 37-storey high residential tower, have been recommended for approval despite concerns raised by the council’s conservation team.

The proposed buildings, which would be based in land south of Garrison Circus if approved, include two residential towers with 546 apartments between them and two student blocks with 710 units.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The huge development would involve the complete demolition of the locally-listed Argyle building as well as the partial demolition of the Myona building, with further works to include the “repair and reinstatement of damaged and lost features of the remaining of the building.”

The Myona building, also locally-listed, used to house Myona Cleaning Centre, one of the country’s top industrial cleaning suppliers, but is now a shadow of its former self and has remained derelict for years.

While Birmingham City Council’s conservation team did not object to the plans, they noted the harm the development would cause to both buildings. Meanwhile objections were received from Birmingham Civic Society and The Twentieth Century Society, the latter being a charity that campaigns for the preservation of architectural heritage from 1914 onwards.

Argyle factory works in DigbethArgyle factory works in Digbeth
Argyle factory works in Digbeth

A council officer’s report acknowledged there is a “high degree of harm” as a result of the complete loss of the Argyle building through demolition. “There is also harm identified to the Myona building,” it added.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“However, taking a balanced judgement I do not consider the high level of harm to a building of low to moderate local significance, and the setting of a non-designated heritage asset of moderate significance, to outweigh the identified significant public benefits of the proposal.”

Myona building in Digbeth, BirminghamMyona building in Digbeth, Birmingham
Myona building in Digbeth, Birmingham

It continued: “There are also heritage benefits associated with the refurbishment and use of the retained Myona building which weight in favour of the proposal.” The report went on to say the proposed apartments would contribute towards Birmingham’s housing shortfall and regeneration aspirations for the city centre area.

It adds: “It would create a distinctive place and deliver affordable housing, in accordance with local and national policies. The scheme would also provide economic, social and environmental benefits.”

The proposals have been recommended for approval subject to a legal agreement and will be reviewed by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee on Thursday, February 1.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.