A councillor has hit out at "off the shelf" and bland designs as the city's latest major apartment block development was given the green light.
Developer Nikal has been given the go ahead to build 603 apartments over three blocks , in a project called Exchange Square, on the former Masshouse Circus site in Birmingham city centre.
The three buildings, which will be 27, 16 and nine storeys tall respectively, were given the unanimous support of the council's planning committee. But there was a note of criticism from Coun Fiona Williams (Lab Hodge Hill) who was unimpressed with the design, saying it looked just like any other apartment block anywhere else in the UK.
Coun Williams said: "As this is a key road into the city, I would want something that stands out. This looks like any other office block.
"I'm not saying build something weird and wonderful, just something with a little more imagination."
She said that our architects could learn from building design in cities like Valencia in Spain and Izmir in Turkey.
Her colleagues were, however, more impressed. Coun Bob Beachamp (Con Erdington) said: "This site has needed this for quite some time. "The plan is well-designed. Particularly the parking and access."
And Peter Douglas Osborn (Con Weoley) added: "There are some objections to the design but that's unwarranted."
The new buildings will sit in front of the 21-storey McLaren office block and next to earlier phases of the Masshouse development area.
Below: Vision of the future - the Eastside development
It sits across the road from Eastside City Park and near to the proposed Curzon Street HS2 station.
The new blocks will include rooftop gardens, ground floor shops, parking for 187 cars and 78 bikes. Work is expected begin on the site in the summer, with the final block completed before the end of 2019.