Green light for 51-storey Birmingham apartments

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A 51-storey apartment block in Birmingham has been approved by city planners despite criticism over its “lamentable” affordable housing provision.

The £160 million One Eastside project is being led by city developer Court Collaboration on land at the corner of James Watt Queensway and Jennens Road.

In addition to what will be the city’s second tallest skyscraper, it will have a neighbouring 16-storey block.

The tower, which has been designed by Birmingham practice Glancy Nicholls Architects, will be taller than the BT Tower which is the city’s current tallest structure but behind the new 61-storey apartment block at 100 Broad Street.

Birmingham City Council’s planning committee had previously given approval to the One Eastside project subject to there being no objection from Historic England.

Historic England has since raised concerns about the project’s impact on nearby historic buildings despite raising no objection and their comments were put to the committee.

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An objection about the building’s impact was also heard from developer Nikal which is leading the neighbouring Exchange Square project directly opposite the One Eastside application site.

Committee member Coun Gareth Moore (Con) said: “We have an example of developer ‘nimby-ism’ here.

“They are saying ‘we can build a tall building but no one else can’. It’s criticising other developers for doing exactly what they have done themselves.”

Twenty of the scheme’s 667 apartments are planned to be affordable housing which has previously been described as “appalling” by committee member Cllr Lou Robson.

She repeated her concerns, saying: “There is a lamentable level of affordable accommodation.

“There hasn’t just been one objection. There have been concerns raised by a lot of heritage organisations. It’s disappointing that Historic England’s comments are not stronger.”

Cllr Robson voted against the application while the committee’s other ten members voted for.

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