Planning officers in Birmingham have been accused of treating the city like Beijing after they approved a Jewellery Quarter factory conversion with vast bike storage but too little parking.
Tory councillor Gareth Moore, who sits on Birmingham City Council's planning committee, said he was concerned about Seven Capital's redevelopment of the Kettleworks building which will have 234 parking spaces of which only 112 will be allocated to serve its 291 flats.
He was commenting as plans for the part-conversion and part-rebuild of the old Swan factory in Pope Street were approved, comprising 86 studios, 86 one-bedroom, 117 two-bedroom and two three-bedrooms apartments. There will also be 142 bike spaces.
Coun Moore (Erdington) said: "The parking situation again worries me. This is 38 per cent provision. I know they are including some bike spaces but this is Birmingham not Beijing.
"A lot of people who cycle still own a car and I have concerns we have a lot of city centre schemes without adequate car parking being provided."
But planning officers argued there was less demand and need for car parking in the city centre, given the good public transport links.
Another committee member, Coun John Clancy (Lab Quinton), felt that a £800,000 spin off contribution for local services was too low but the officials said it had been reduced to take account of the fact it was a conservation scheme.
Original parts of the factory are to be refurbished and retained, later extensions will be demolished and replaced with five or six storey blocks.
As well as 291 apartments, the development will provide two shops and a gym.
The project forms the first phase of the wider £80 million St George's Urban Village scheme (see gallery below) on land between Pope Street and Carver Street which will eventually see more than 600 homes created on a six-acre site.
Seven Capital's managing director Phil Carlin told the Post: "Naturally, we welcome the council's approval of our plans to develop 291 new homes in the Kettleworks.
"On the matter of parking, we have an excellent team of planning officers under the stewardship of Waheed Nazir and I can say, from first-hand experience of selling a significant number of apartments within the city, the issue was accurately addressed.
"As one of the youngest cities in Europe, we are witnessing a changing attitude towards the need for cars across all of our schemes.
"With the new £600 million New Street station and a well-connected public transport network on its doorstep, those living in the development will have less need for private cars.
"The demand for new residential options in the city centre is significant. As more businesses and people move to Birmingham, the need to provide high-quality homes grows.
"Our commitment to The Kettleworks will address this demand and deliver a development that the city can be proud of as part of our wider St George's Urban Village."