A historic former gas works which has lain empty for years could be brought back into community use as a church centre and café.
The Diocese of Birmingham has lodged new plans to turn Gas Retort House, between Berkley Street and Gas Street, into a place of worship and community centre.
The building, which was awarded Grade II* listed status in 1993, was built between the 1820s and 1920s and was the city's first gasworks.
It is much smaller now than during its previous incarnations, when the gasworks extended down to Holliday Street, and in 2000 it underwent a comprehensive restoration programme.
It was acquired in December by the Diocese of Birmingham which is working with Gun Quarter-based architecture firm Apec on the project.
A report accompanying the new planning application said: "The principal significance of the site derives from (its) industrial archaeology.
"Very little of the early Retort House and Coal Store remain visible although there is likely to be significant subterranean evidence of what originally existed and future archaeological excavation may reveal more information about the workings of Retort House.
"A large proportion of the walls and all roof coverings have been reconstructed during a restoration project in 2000.
"However, most of the original Retort House cast-iron columns and associated roof trusses remain as do the heavy, timber trusses in the Coal Store."
This application covers four sections of the building on the Gas Street side of the complex while two other parts, on the Berkley Street side, were built in the early part of the 20th century and will be mothballed until future funding becomes available.
Apec's report said the large volume spaces of Retort House and Coal Store remained and were aesthetically pleasing, enhanced by the attractive appearance of the original cast-iron and timber roof trusses.
The cast-iron columns, roof trusses and wrought-iron bracing bars are considered early examples of their type and were possibly made at the Phoenix Foundry, in Snow Hill, and transported by the direct canal link which still exists.
It concluded: "The proposed use as a church lends itself very well to preserving the large volume spaces with very little intervention and, where smaller rooms are necessary such as kitchens and lavatories, these are to be of lightweight construction enabling reversibility.
"Virtually all of the historic brickwork walls have been altered over the life of the building and some have been totally rebuilt.
"What is proposed will cause no harm to any of the identified, significant elements of the heritage asset and interventions will be fully reversible without harm.
"The proposed use is a viable and sustainable way of enhancing the heritage asset in line with good conservation principles.
"Furthermore, the building will be regularly open to the public, thus providing an opportunity to experience and understand the gas-making process that was fundamental to the cultural and economic development of our world."