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Green light for 'utterly monstrous' development of Concord House

Councillors claims former Debenhams warehouse project could be contender for Carbuncle Cup prize for rubbish buildings

CGI of Concord House, in Holloway Head, which is to be turned in 19 apartments

This "utterly monstrous" design for a city centre apartment block will add to Birmingham's reputation for eyesore architecture, a councillor has claimed.

Designs for a metal clad rooftop extension to Concord House would even be a contender for the national Carbuncle Cup for rubbish buildings.

That is the view of planning committee member Coun Barry Henley who launched a scathing attack on the architects D5 behind the plan to turn the unremarkable 1930s brick warehouse building on Holloway Head into something "hideous".

He was commenting in the week that a Tesco Extra store and apartment block in Woolwich was awarded the notorious Carbuncle Cup with judges describing it as "oppressive, defensive, arrogant and inept".

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Now Coun Henley (Lab, Brandwood) says that Birmingham could have a contender for next year's award.

He said: "This is the ugliest building I have seen come forward for planning permission. The images are just utterly dreadful, it is hideous."

He described the two-storey roof extension as a metal-clad contorted mess and a monstrosity.

"Having seen the Tesco in Woolwich win the award for Britain's ugliest building, I would say this is a shoo-in for next year."

His view was backed by Coun Peter Douglas Osborn (Cons, Weoley) who likened it to the media centre at Lord's Cricket Ground and added: "It is in an area of outstandingly ugly buildings anyway."

But chief planning officer Richard Goulborn stuck up for the developer, Concord House Birmingham Ltd, saying it was an improvement on the existing plain building.

"Clearly the design is a subjective matter," he added.

But the conversion of the former Debenham's warehouse by Elevate Property Group into 19 'New York style' loft apartments was approved by the committee despite the design.

In a submission to the committee, agents for the developer PJ Planning said: "The proposed development both complements and will enhance the character and quality of the surrounding area."

 

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