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New plans drawn up for V Building site at Arena Central

Less extravagant proposals are being mooted for the site once expected to house 51-storey mega tower

An artist's impression of the type of building now being planned at the V Building site

It was one of the most ambitious proposals in history for a Birmingham city centre building – and ultimately proved to be a step too far.

Now, less extravagant plans are being drawn up for the site of the proposed V Building, next to Alpha Tower.

Developer Dandara is working up proposals for an 18 to 23-storey apartment block on the prominent site, part of the Arena Central development, with commercial space.

 

The plans, expected to be submitted to Birmingham City Council later this year, are for a building with 319 homes at the heart of a key regeneration site, overlooking the Paradise Circus scheme.

The original tower, designed by Eric Kuhne, was part of ambitious £150 million plans first mooted in 1997 and would have been one of Europe's tallest buildings stretching 51 floors high with a giant spire.

But plans were scaled back in 2000 on the advice of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott to about 500ft, including a sky lobby, observation deck and rooftop restaurant.

It was to have been completed in 2009 but fell foul of the economic downturn and the full potential of the land where the former ATV and Central Television studios were based is still to come to fruition.

Rachel Allwood, from Dandara, said the proposals were still being finalised and consultation events had been held with this week.

She said: "Following productive discussions with Birmingham City Council, we are delighted to be in a position to consult with the wider community about our proposals to regenerate this part of the Arena Central masterplan site.

"Feedback will help to shape our plans before a formal planning application is submitted later this year which will further transform the Arena Central area of Birmingham.

"We are still finalising the design of the scheme and we are keen to hear the views of local residents as we progress with our proposals.

"We believe our proposed residential development of 319 new properties in the heart of Birmingham will prove extremely popular with young professionals and families who want to work and live close to all the amenities the city has to offer.

"Our research shows there is strong demand for high quality developments such as this which is why the timing is right to bring forward our proposals."

Documents circulated by Dandara ahead of the drop-in consultation sessions this week showed plans for a smaller tower with new landscaped open spaces.

The mixed-use scheme will comprise both residential and commercial space and will include a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

It says each will benefit from "an open plan kitchen, dining room and lounge area".

The Dandara development forms part of wider £400 million plans for the former ATV studios site, off Broad Street and Centenary Square, under the Arena Central banner.

Proposals for the 9.2-acre site include a hotel, apartments and public spaces, with work expected to begin on one building imminently after plans were passed.

 

Earlier this month, the Post reported that One Arena Central, on the site of the old Register Office, will become the first speculative office development in Birmingham since the recession.

Outline permission is already in place for 2.3 million sq ft of mixed-use space, in the city's enterprise zone, including 860,000 sq ft of office accommodation, over 200,000 sq ft of residential units, 2,500 car spaces and more than 1.2 million sq ft of retail and leisure units.

 
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