A city centre surface car park close to the Bullring and Wholesale Markets could be the latest Birmingham site to house student accommodation.

The car park, on the corner of Pershore Street and Upper Dean Street, was due to house two hotels and commercial space five years ago but the entire project never came to fruition and only a Travelodge was developed.

New plans have now been lodged with Birmingham City Council to build 323 self-contained studio apartments with associated communal facilities and 7,530 sq ft of commercial space across five units which could house shops, office accommodation, restaurants or bars.

The ten-storey development in the Southside district would involve the retention and incorporation of a listed building at 42-45 Upper Dean Street as the main entrance into the student block, parking for bikes and cars and landscaping.

Suffolk-based Benacre Properties Company is the behind the scheme which has been designed by Jewellery Quarter firm Chetwoods Architects.

 

A design statement prepared by Chetwoods said: "The streetscape in this area has undergone considerable change over the last few years with the smaller scale streets gradually replaced by larger scale developments, streets and urban-block building forms as befits a thriving city centre.

"As part of the Southern Gateway enterprise zone, this trend is likely to continue. As part of this process, it is proposed to demolish the existing building on Pershore Street as this is of little architectural merit.

"The site is considered to be a sustainable location within walking distance of key services and facilities."

In 2009, Birmingham-based Gallan Group, which still operates the site's car park, received planning consent for the redevelopment of the site which at the time comprised plans for a Travelodge, 285-bedroom Maldron hotel, part of Dublin-based Dalata Hotel Group, and about 28,000 sq ft of office and retail space.

A 35-year pre-let was agreed with Maldron but this element of the project never came off despite the 210-bed Travelodge opening in summer 2011.

This area of the city is likely to see plenty of activity in the coming years as the Wholesale Markets site will undergo a full regeneration and the former Silver Blades ice rink will be turned into flats.

In addition, Asian betting company 138.com is hoping to turn the Chaplin Court building in nearby Hurst Street in a karaoke bar, restaurant and betting shop.

These latest plans add to an already bumper crop of student accommodation projects across Birmingham, in particular in Selly Oak.

Bouygues Development, the company behind the redevelopment of Silver Blades, is eyeing a plot close to Five Ways Island for an 11-storey tower containing 435 bedrooms while a trio of sites in Selly Oak, two of which are in Bristol Road, will contain almost 800 bedrooms if they all go ahead.