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Paradise Circus development 'to return Birmingham to pedestrians'

The redevelopment of Paradise Circus will return the city centre to pedestrians, ending the dominance of the motor car, city planners have claimed.

The redevelopment of Paradise Circus will return the city centre to pedestrians, ending the dominance of the motor car, city planners have claimed.

These plans to transform Paradise Circus and Chamberlain Square have been redrawn



Proposals to bulldoze the Central Library and Conservatoire and break up the roundabout have been given an enthusiastic welcome from the council’s planning committee.

The multi-million development will see new office blocks, a concert venue, shops bars and restaurants, public squares designed to link Chamberlain and Centenary Square.

Planning committee members, asked to comment on the scheme, welcomed the opening up of pedestrian pathways between the two squares and improve views of Birmingham’s historic buildings.

Coun Bob Beauchamp (Cons, Erdington) said: "Paradise Circus has always seemed to be the most inappropriately named placed in the city.

"This will make the world of difference, we must make the most of this opportunity."

Coun John Clancy (Lab, Quinton) said: "It’s a tremendous development."

"This will return the city centre to the pedestrian rather the the car driver," added Coun Martin Straker-Welds (Lab, Moseley and Kings Heath).

Committee members only concerns were that the individual buildings, when they come forward for planning approval, are of a high quality design which compliments the Town Hall and other heritage buildings surrounding the site and that cycling and public transport links are well thought out.

Council development director Waheed Nazir said: "Developments like this come along only once every 20 to 25 years. This is an opportunity to put right the poor decisions made in the 1960s and 70s."

The committee heard that the city can expect to run out of grade A office space at some point between 2015 and 2017 unless schemes like this are developed.

Gary Taylor, speaking for developer Argent Group, said that he hopes, should planning be approved later this year, that the construction will begin in 2014 and completed by 2017.

He said: "It's now or never. The leases in Paradise Forum are coming to an end and if we don't do this now they could be renewed. Then we would be facing a piecemeal approach to the development."

 
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