The first major renovation work in four decades at the former home of Birmingham's Assay Office is due to be approved this week.

Separate plans were lodged earlier this summer to refurbish the office space in Newhall Street and construct a new 32-unit residential block on the rear car park of the Grade II-listed building.

The proposals, lodged by TCN UK which acquired the building last year, follow the Assay Office's relocation across the Jewellery Quarter to Icknield Street - its first move since 1878.

The renovation of the building, designed by city practice Glenn Howells Architects, is aimed at small businesses and would create 30,000 sq ft of office space across 27 separate units, including seven in the basement.

The residential element would entail the demolition of a boundary wall and construction of a staggered building ranging from two to four storeys containing 18 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom apartments.

There would be parking for 13 cars and 32 bikes.

Council planning officers have backed the proposals and recommended councillors award the applications the green light when they meet on Thursday.

However, no public realm or affordable housing contributions have been attached to the applications because of financial viability due to the high cost of renovating the offices.

A report prepared by case officer Victoria Chadaway ahead of the meeting said: "A Financial Viability Assessment has been submitted (which) has considered the proposed residential development in conjunction with the costs of refurbishing the former Assay Office.

"The (residential) scheme proposed is required to enable the refurbishment.

"The assessment concludes that, due to the high costs associated with the refurbishment, there is no scope within this scheme for any planning obligations.

"A scheme of this scale would normally seek both an affordable housing contribution and a contribution for public open space.

"I consider the lack of policy compliant obligations can only be justified provided the works to the former Assay Office are (both) considered acceptable and implemented.

"As such, it is reasonable and necessary to require the satisfactory refurbishment of the former Assay Office by way of a legal agreement under the provisions of this application."

A condition, known as a Section 106 agreement, has been placed on the application to build the flats, stating that work to the offices should commence prior to work on the apartments and the office renovation should be completed before any of the apartments are occupied.

Pictures: Inside Birmingham's Assay Office