Plans to build 375 apartments next to Warwickshire County Cricket Club have been approved - despite initial fears the scheme will not look good on television when the players break for tea.

The Moseley Society declared they were 'not impressed' with the early designs for the scheme to be built between Pershore Road and Edgbaston Stadium even comparing two of the proposed blocks to 'correctional institutions' because of the look of the windows.

In their objection lodged to Birmingham City Council they said: "As the television cameras pan round to show views of the city while the players in televised cricket matches are taking tea, we would like to think they will be able to show that these buildings are illustrative of the high quality of design and materials used in some of our city’s fine buildings.

"We hope these plans can be improved and that the materials used will impress the television viewers from all over the world for many years to come."

An aerial shot showing the development site marked in red and white. Obtained from Design and Access Statement.
An aerial shot showing the development site marked in red and white. Obtained from Design and Access Statement.

The appearance was also flagged up by a conservation heritage panel prompting developers Patrizia to make several changes to the plans such as replacing  windows and metal cladding, applying more 'brick detailing' and scaling up the tallest building to 17 storeys to make it more 'elegant'.

 

An updated design and access statement said: "The applicant and the design team believe that the adjustments have addressed the key issues raised.

"The architecture has been matured and when completed the development will make a positive contribution to its location and the wider area and will be an elegant and interesting building."

A CGI showing what the scheme could look like. Obtained from Design and Access Statement.
A CGI showing what the scheme could look like. Obtained from Design and Access Statement.
 

The scheme was passed by the council's planning committee yesterday (Thursday, March 14) although the biggest concern with the plan was whether there will be enough parking.

There will be 111 resident-only parking spaces, 21 visitor spaces and a further 229 bays to be shared with the club which will be available for residents to use outside of cricket matches, events and conferences. There would also be 355-club only spaces.

 

But the parking issue, alongside further concerns around the density of the scheme, lack of any affordable housing and family-sized homes attracted objections from Edgbaston ward councillors Deirdre Alden and Matt Bennett (both Cons) and MP Preet Gill (Lab).

Further concerns were expressed by the Balsall Heath Forum, Calthorpe Residents Society and Edgbaston Ward Forum.

Cllr Gareth Moore, on the planning committee, voted against the scheme arguing the parking arrangements were inadequate.

He also said it was 'strange' that homes were likely demolished on the site years ago to make way for more cars only now for parking spaces to give way to homes.

A CGI showing what the scheme could look like. Obtained from Design and Access Statement.
A CGI showing what the scheme could look like. Obtained from Design and Access Statement.

The scheme will also feature a gym and up to five units which could be used for a range of purposes such as shops, a pub, restaurant or bank.

It also promises a new public square in front of the main entrance to the cricket ground to act as an 'arrival space'.

 

More than £1m is to be paid to the council to compensate for the lack of affordable housing as well as to invest in Cannon Hill Park and road improvements.

A CGI showing what the scheme could look like. Obtained from Design and Access Statement.
A CGI showing what the scheme could look like. Obtained from Design and Access Statement.

Council planning officer Tracy Humphreys, who recommended the proposal be approved, said: "We do feel that the scheme does build on the site in a complementary fashion, to both the adjoining development and also the growth ambitions of the cricket club.

"The parking arrangements and traffic generation have been looked at in some very considerable depth."