Global construction and support services firm Interserve is set to consolidate all its Midland operations on one site after obtaining planning permission to build a new regional headquarters in Solihull close to Birmingham Airport.
The firm has been given approval to demolish an unoccupied four-storey office block- International House on Bickenhill Lane near Birmingham International station - and replace it with a five-story triangular shaped building that would also contain include underground and surface level car-parks for 450 vehicles.
The new building would see Interserve relocate staff from existing offices in Erdington, Aldridge, Dudley, Redditch and West Bromwich. The firm is expected to relocate all the 1,150 staff it employs in the region, though the new HQ would have a capacity for 1,600 employees.
In total the new building would have 21,000 sq m of floor space, with 13,438 sq m used for office accommodation.
An Interserve spokesman told the Post: “We can confirm that we have received planning permission to build a new office close to Birmingham International rail station.
“The site is currently occupied by a disused block, which will be demolished to make way for a modern, ecologically-sympathetic building, which will be ready for occupation in early 2018.”
Interserve, which has its global headquarters in Reading, offers advice, design, construction, equipment, facilities management and frontline public services.
Listed in the FTSE 250 index, the company has gross revenues of £3.3 billion and employs around 80,000 people across the world.
The development was approved by Solihull Council’s planning committee and the planning officers’ report stated: “The planning application seeks to demolish International House an existing four-storey flat roof B1 office building and erect a five storey office building including a sub-terrain lower ground car park and surface level car park providing 450 spaces.
“The application site is triangular and forms a gateway to Elmdon Trading Estate with a strong edge to Bickenhill Lane.”
The report added that the proposals had been called in by the committee as it would have “a significant impact on the immediate vicinity”.
Details in the officers’ report describe details of the proposed building, described as “triangular in shape in form”.
It added: “The design utilises staggered stacked floor plates that rake outwards to maximise passive solar shading whilst maximising natural daylight. This creates a dynamic internal atrium space within the building.”
Access would be maintained via the existing in and out arrangement from the internal road into Elmdon Trading Estate from the island on Bickenhill Lane.
A new pedestrian link is proposed from the entrance of the building on to Bickenhill Lane is to improve pedestrian connectivity to the interchange at Birmingham International station.
In conclusion the officers’ report recommended approval and added: “The planning application is clearly supported by both Government policy set out in the NPPF and Local Plan Policy P1 which seek to deliver support for sustainable economic growth.
“The proposed development creates a high quality gateway building that significantly enhances the design quality of built environment of the area.”
The report said the new development would have no material impact on those occupying neighbouring buildings and that although there would be an increase in traffic it would not have “a discernible impact”.
It added that on the evidence submitted it would be a “highly sustainable, energy efficient building that reduces carbon emissions”.