A Birmingham councillor has warned that a new city centre tower block could create a gale force wind tunnel effect and called for tests ahead of construction.
Coun Barry Henley raised his fears as Birmingham’s planning committee approved the new 15-storey Lumina office block on Snow Hill Queensway.
The tall glazed building is set to be built alongside the Lloyd House police headquarters and opposite the Snow Hill office development.
Plans include the demolition of the derelict shopping parade and car park, known as The Strip, which currently occupy the site.
Coun Henley (Lab, Brandwood) called for planning officers and architects to carry out some wind-tunnel tests on models and if there is an issue consider action to stop the wind.
He was otherwise complimentary of the design which he described as a ‘suitable building in this location’ and better than others previously given planning permission. He described the roof as ‘very attractive’.
But he warned: “I am a little bit concerned at the way all these tower blocks are close to one another, that it might generate a wind-tunnel effect.”
He said that with the tower mounted on a colonnade there may well be strong winds for pedestrians.
Planning officers have agreed to investigate the prospects of strong winds.
Meanwhile the committee was unanimous in its support for the tower. Coun Keith Linnecor said: “Unlike many buildings in the city centre area I actually quite like this design.” He also praised the inclusion of a ‘green wall and roof’ to encourage some wild life
Following planning permission construction work could begin on the 240,000 sq ft office block in the next few weeks. The Lumina tower will have frontages on both Snow Hill and Weaman Street.
Developer Sterling Property Ventures and M&G Real Estate are behind the scheme.