Huge Digbeth development plans to be revisited following request from Birmingham Airport

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Plans for a significant development in Digbeth, Birmingham, are back on the table after being previously rejected

Plans for a huge development in Digbeth will be considered again after being previously deferred following questions over its affordable homes and a request from Birmingham Airport.

The proposed two new buildings, one of 34 storeys and one of 10 storeys, were discussed by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee last month.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The development would be based in Clyde Street/High Street and provide 481 dwellings, with the applicant expressing a desire to provide more than half of them as affordable housing.

Why was the initial proposal rejected?

However, a council officer’s report said at the time that this level of affordable homes “would not be secured via the planning permission”.

“Given that there is no certainty this provision would come forward, the provision of affordable housing cannot be considered as a material planning consideration,” it continued.

CGI of the proposed development. Taken from planning application's design and access statement prepared by Assael Architecture on behalf of LatimerCGI of the proposed development. Taken from planning application's design and access statement prepared by Assael Architecture on behalf of Latimer
CGI of the proposed development. Taken from planning application's design and access statement prepared by Assael Architecture on behalf of Latimer | Assael Architecture

What were the concerns raised by the Birmingham Airport?

This was raised as a concern during March’s planning committee as well as a “very late” request from Birmingham Airport for further assessment information.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The proposals were therefore deferred but have now been recommended for approval again ahead of this week’s planning committee meeting.

A new report says “the questions regarding aviation safety have been confirmed” following comments being received from Birmingham Airport, which said the assessment information it requested could be secured as a condition.

“The airport also recommends conditions to secure a construction management strategy, a bird hazard management plan, a permanent obstacle lighting scheme and a CAA crane notification condition,” it added.

On affordable housing, the report says that the council’s independent assessor confirmed that the current scheme and viability model “would not support the inclusion of affordable housing directly in the legal agreement.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The applicant has, however, offered to secure a review mechanism to re-evaluate the position should this change following the grant of consent,” it continued.

“There would be a possibility that the council may be able to secure the provision of some affordable if, for example, the market conditions were appropriate and the development were to proceed under a different financial model such as build to rent.” the report added.

It continued that the development would result in some harms, including to townscape and visual factors, as well as to heritage assets

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, it also noted the significant public benefits such as the 481 dwellings, positive biodiversity impacts and improved wind conditions to the bus stops.

When will the plans be considered again by the Birmingham City Council’s planning committee?

The proposed development was recommended for approval subject to conditions and the completion of a legal agreement.

The plans will be considered again at a meeting of Birmingham City Council’s planning committee on Thursday, April 25.

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.