Argent submits £450m Paradise Circus plan

Aaron Morby 10 years ago

Developer Argent has submitted plans for the £450m redevelopment of Birmingham’s Paradise Circus.

The planning application covers 17 acres of land in the heart of Birmingham that will involve demolishing the old Central Library and 10 new buildings around a series of new squares and streets.

The ambitious Paradise Circus project has gains a further boost after Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership also approved an investment plan which will see £125m of funding unlocked by the creation of a City Centre Enterprise Zone.

The first phase of funding will include investment of £60m in the infrastructure of the Westside part of the city, around Paradise Circus.

A further £25m is earmarked for the extension of the Metro from New Street to Centenary Square and £40m to support site development and business growth activity.

Subject to planning consent being granted later this year, a detailed planning application for the first phase of the Paradise development will be submitted in late 2013/early 2014.

The redevelopment proposal is based on the Birmingham Conservatoire moving a short distance to Louisa Ryland House on Edmund Street, with a new minimum 450 seat concert hall to replace the existing Adrian Boult Hall being created.

In total, the planning application comprises a gross internal area of circa 1.8m sq ft, making it one of the UK’s largest city centre planning applications submitted this year.

The redevelopment of Paradise Circus will create a series of new linked pedestrian streets and squares and provide a traffic free setting for the Grade I Listed Town Hall.

Council Leader Sir Albert Bore believes the plans would have an enormously positive impact on the city: “Paradise Circus is key to Birmingham’s new Enterprise Zone and the delivery of the Big City Plan.

“It is a huge opportunity for the City to capitalise on projects such as New Street Gateway and the Library of Birmingham by creating a location for major inward investment in a high quality environment second to none in the UK.”

Argent’s Senior Project Director Rob Groves said: “Our proposals incorporate up to 1.4 million net sq ft of office space in up to ten new buildings which could ultimately accommodate up to 12,000 people.

“The creation of a pipeline of new business space in the medium term is vital to the economic well-being of the City, its ability to attract new businesses to the region and to allow indigenous businesses to expand and grow.”

Significant improvements to the road layout through and around the site are also proposed.

Architects and master planners Glenn Howells Architects have been working on the proposals for several years.

Glenn Howells said: “I believe we have produced a masterplan that successfully combines a contemporary and sustainable approach to design alongside the need to work sympathetically with the magnificent, historic civic buildings that lie adjacent to the site.

“This proposal puts people and the environment first by providing traffic-free roads and squares along with attractive vistas to encourage visitors and allow residents and workers the opportunity to stop and relax in an attractive but vibrant setting.”

The professional team responsible for delivering the planning application includes planning consultants Drivers Jonas Deloitte, architects and master planners Glenn Howells Architects, transport planners Peter Brett Associates, consulting engineers Arup, quantity surveyors Faithful & Gould, heritage consultants Alan Baxter Associates, environmental planning and design consultancy The Environmental Dimension Partnership and Townshend Landscape Architects.

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