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Consultation & Engagement

The proposals have also been informed by a public consultation exercise with local businesses, people living, working and visiting the Colmore Row area, and other key stakeholders, undertaken prior to the recent submission of the planning application. This exercise comprised the following:

 

  • 2-day public exhibition held on 19th to 20th April 2023
     

  • Creation of an interactive project website
     

  • Distribution of a project leaflet prior to, and during, the exhibition
     

  • Individual invitations were sent to key stakeholders to publicise the event and the website
     

  • Press releases have been circulated to a range of media and other organisations
     

  • All comments were recorded and analysed in the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)

 

Further information relating to the public consultation can be found in the SCI accompanying the planning application.

The SCI also sets out the Applicant’s response to any concerns raised through the consultation and how, if necessary, the scheme has been revised to address these, where appropriate.

 

The planning application submission also follows a period of positive engagement and pre-application liaison with Birmingham City Council Officers and key stakeholders, resulting in a design which, in terms of scale, massing and appearance, fully considers the historic context of this sensitive location within the setting of the Colmore Row and Environs Conservation Area and St Philips Cathedral.

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Meeting 1: 10/02/23
 

Key Principles:
 

The Colmore Gate team attended a meeting with Birmingham City Council (BCC) officers where we presented the scheme’s key drivers and benefits.

BCC comments:

 

  • Supportive of development on the site in the context of new commercial development in the Colmore Row District benefiting the economic growth of the city.
     

  • Supportive of reuse of the existing structure and associated carbon savings, a highly sustainable building contributing to Birmingham City Council’s vision for the city.
     

  • Further consideration required in relation to the proportions of the shoulder balanced with the height of the tower.

 

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Meeting 2: 09/03/23
 

Key Principles:
 

This follow-up meeting with BCC addressed the initial considerations raised by officers regarding the design of the scheme, particularly its massing and scale.

BCC comments:

 

  • Provide a detailed floor plan of the proposed building to compare this with the existing floor plan.
     

  • The principle of the tower design and footprint was considered broadly acceptable, subject to detailed design considerations.
     

  • Further consideration required in relation to the height of the shoulder omitting the terrace design.

 

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Meeting 3: 21/03/23 
 

Key Principles:
 

This meeting with BCC officers was held to discuss their response to the revised massing/design proposals, particularly in relation to the shoulder of the proposed building.

BCC comments:

 

  • The principle of the tower building is acceptable, with some reservations.
     

  • Their view in relation to the shoulder design is that the 12 storeys scheme (GF +11 podium levels) is too high and the proposed massing may adversely affect views towards, and from, the Cathedral and wider conservation area, causing potential harm to these heritage assets.
     

  • To mitigate this potential harm, an appropriate increase in the height of the shoulder building is 2 storeys, thereby totaling 10 storeys (GF+9 podium levels).

 

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Heritage & Conservation Panel Meeting: 01/06/23
 

Panel comments:
 

  • Supportive of the retro-fit approach to re-using the existing building structure as part of the proposals.
     

  • Considered the existing building to be of some architectural merit, making a positive contribution to the character of this part of Birmingham City Centre, and as such should  be classed as a non-designated heritage asset.
     

  • Concerns with the scale and massing of the proposals, the proportions of the tower as a result of extension, and the associated harm to the Conservation Areas and St Philips CathedralConsidered the existing building to be of some architectural merit, making a positive contribution to the character of this part of Birmingham City Centre, and as such should  be classed as a non-designated heritage asset. 
     

  • Commented that the proposal would compete with St. Philips Cathedral and would be unacceptable in this regard.
     

  • Overall, CHRP considered the architecture presented to them at the time, needed significant improvement.

 

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Meeting 4: 28/06/23
 

Massing & Facade Design:
 

The massing was further reduced to address concerns over townscape and heritage impact. An additional storey was added to the tower and 2 storeys omitted from the podium. A facade approach with a vertical emphasis was introduced.

BCC Comments:

 

  • Supports the greater vertical emphasis in the elevational design.
     

  • Would like to understand more about the detail of the how the glazing, fins and shaped louvres will be constructed.
     

  • Simplification of the architectural motifs to be explored.

 

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Meeting 5: 13/07/23
 

Facade Design:
 

Further development of the facade design was presented to officers alongside typical detailed drawings. Architectural motifs simplified and language continued over entire massing to create a 360 ° elevational treatment.

BCC Comments:

 

  • Elevations are an improvement on the previous version.
     

  • Materials/colours to be used for fins, spandrels, glass and window panes to be confirmed.
     

  • Review options to effectively camouflage the lift/stair core by continuing the façade design language to incorporate the elevation facing the Cathedral.

 

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