An imaginative regeneration project involving the renovation and conversion of a Grade II listed building in the Dig-beth area of Birmingham has b een approved by city planners.

The development, on behalf of land owner RTP Crisps in collaboration with West Midlands firm Mansell Construction, has been designed by BBLB architects, a locallybased practice with extensive experience on working with listed buildings and conservation issues.

It involves the conversion of existing warehouse buildings into 38 city living apartments, with two additional three storey new buildings, creating a total of 50 units and an attractively-landscaped internal courtyard.

Located in Allison Street, the scheme sits within the Digbeth, Deritend and Bordesley High Streets Conservation Area, and is on the boundary of the Eastside Design and Movement framework.

According to BBLB partner Ed Baverstock, the scheme has been designed to meet a range of challenging criteria dictated by national and regional policy in relation to new housing provision within urban areas.

"Although conservation of historic buildings is important to us, we aim to maximise the development opportunity of a site for our clients. In this instance, we successfully negotiated the demolition of one of the listed buildings on site which was of poor quality, which would have been expensive to redevelop and offered little merit to the development, while replacing it with a high-quality new building," he said.

"This development accords perfectly with the stated strategy of the local authority to encourage 'city living' through the promotion of new housing in the city centre.

"It will contribute towards revitalising and regenerating the area, creating an attractive place for people to live, whilst also acting as a catalyst for subsequent development. We also negotiated reduced parking standards due to the sustainable location within easy walking distance of the city centre."

Bev Chattaway, of RTP Crisps, said: "For my first venture I am fortunate to have BBLB and Mansell as part of my team and we are very excited at the opportunity to develop this site and provide high-quality individual properties for first-time buyers in the centre of Birmingham close to all the facilities."

Steve Wedge, design manager at Mansell Construction, added: "We are delighted that we now have planning permission to move ahead with this project."