Plans to build a new apartment block on a car park close to Broad Street have fallen at the first hurdle after councillors raised concerns over the loss of parking.

The decision follows earlier discussions between developer Romar Investments and Birmingham City Council which resulted in initial ambitions for a 12-storey block containing around 120 flats being slashed in half.

The Post reported in May that Romar Investments was hoping to build the apartments on its pay and display car in Tennant Street, close to Brindleyplace.

But last week it emerged council officers had expressed concerns a 12-storey block would damage the "character" of the road, preferring instead six storeys with up to 40 flats.

Although the exact details of the final application are not yet decided, an outline application to determine access to the block was thrown out by members of the city council's planning committee over the loss of a car park.

The scale, appearance, layout and landscaping of the final development will be subject to a subsequent application but, in both the 12- and six-storey versions, there was parking space for bikes but nothing for cars.

In rejecting the outline application, councillors said there was not enough parking in the streets around the application site to accommodate the new residents who would be living there.

Council planning officers had recommended the application be approved, claiming a city centre development did not need car parking due to its proximity to public transport and work places.

The loss of this car park without replacement caused concern for city councillors
The loss of this car park without replacement caused concern for city councillors

Members of the planning committee however took the opposite view, stating many residents still owned cars even if they walked to work.

Coun Gareth Moore (Con Erdington), who regularly highlights this difference between planning policy and the real world over parking, said: "We have a building on a car park providing flats for people with no car parking at all.

"Many will want to own a car, even if they don't use it all the time."

He said that, despite claims of hundreds of parking spaces nearby, he was aware of planning approval for development on three car parks nearby.

"We are building apartments and workplaces at the same time as taking parking places away, we need to look at the overall effect of this," he added.

Coun Keith Linnecor (Lab Oscott) added that many of the spaces cost £1 per hour or more at peak times and would not be suitable for residents.

"I hate to say it but I am coming round to Coun Moore's point of view," he added.

Planning officer Louise Robinson told the meeting there were still a significant number of spaces in the area and, as the application under discussion was outline only, specific matters such as parking would be considered once a full application was lodged.

The plan was rejected by six votes to three.