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Arena Central's first phase poised to get green light

City council planning chiefs recommended to approve 1 Arena Central to kick start work on the long-awaited mixed-use development

Artist's impression of 1 Arena Central

City planners are poised to hand the green light to the first phase of the long-awaited Arena Central development this week.

The first building of the development fronting onto Broad Street will be called 1 Arena Central and will be part-seven and part-eight storeys.

Birmingham City Council's planning committee has been recommended to approve the application by officers ahead of its meeting on Thursday, subject to various conditions related to matters such as building materials and a landscape management plan among others.

The building will comprise 135,000 sq ft of office space, 5,000 sq ft of ground floor retail units, 2,500 sq ft of top-floor balconies and an underground car park with space for 68 vehicles and 54 bikes.

It has a curved façade with chequerboard motif which developers hope will encourage people onto the site.

The committee report said: "The proposed office building would provide high quality, robust architecture.....setting a suitable benchmark for the development as a whole.

"The use of neutral materials is consistent with its immediate neighbours and would help frame Centenary Square.

"The curved and recessed entrance feature marks the access into the building in an effective and striking manner.....the provision of a high-quality public realm that is consistent with the tramway proposals and is part of a wider scheme is also welcomed."

 

A second application, also scheduled to go before the planning committee on Thursday, is seeking permission for a landscaped walkway and the formation of future building plots at Arena Central.

This has also been recommended for approval by officers subject to conditions.

The wider, £400 million masterplan covers just over nine acres and has planning permission for 2.3 million sq ft of mixed-use space, including 860,000 sq ft of grade A office accommodation, over 200,000 sq ft of residential units, 2,500 car parking spaces and more than 1.2 million sq ft of retail and leisure units.

It is being delivered by Arena Central Developments, a joint venture between Miller Developments and Bridgehouse Capital.

Outline planning permission for Arena Central was granted by the Secretary of State in February 2000 following an enquiry and was subsequently renewed in 2005 and 2010.            

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