Building work on a landmark £400 million Birmingham city development will begin 'almost immediately' after city planners gave designs the green light.

Arena Central designs for an office block and 'mini-park' on the former ATV studios site on Broad Street were approved unanimously by the council's planning committee.

This building is the first stage of the wider Arena Central development which will see offices, shops and restaurants built - after more than 15 years of hold ups due to planning wrangles and the economic slump.

The first phase will be an eight-storey office block, with ground floor shops fronting Broad Street and a small park. This will be followed by further buildings as the site develops.

 

Planning committee member Coun Fiona Williams (Lab, Hodge Hill) praised the building for its distinctive appearance.

"It's an original design abd works well with the Hyatt Regency," she told the planning committee meeting.

Coun Keith Linnecor (Lab, Oscott) added: "I like this design and am pleased there is some open space - I hope this kind of thing becomes the norm for the city centre rather than an exception."

Following the award of planning permission, council planning and regeneration director Waheed Nazir announced that Arena Central Developments planned to start construction straight away.

He said: "The developer has said they will build this block speculatively and will get on immediately."

The major 50-storey, V-building tower, which was given planning permission in 2007, is thought unlikely to be built at this stage.

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