A major Edgbaston development that was stalled by the recession is back on track after planners gave the green light to a new scheme.
Birmingham City Council has approved plans for a 200-bedroom hotel, cafe and three restaurants at the Edgbaston Mill scheme opposite the Warwickshire County Cricket ground.
The approval is a major boost for the development that ground to halt during the credit crunch when HBOS withdrew its funding for the project and occupiers including an Express by Holiday Inn hotel walked away.
However, Calthorpe Estates has now teamed up with Wylam Investments (Edgbaston Holdings) to bring forward the high-profile site. Ralph Minott, director of development for Calthorpe Estates said the revised scheme would complement the huge redevelopment taking place across the road.
He said: “We are delighted the plans were unanimously approved by the committee. The endorsement concluded by the chair of the panel, referring to the proposal as ‘an excellent high quality facility to support the world class stadium redevelopment,’ completely concurs with the aspirations that Calthorpe Estates have held for a high-quality leisure and retail destination in this part of Edgbaston for 10 years.
“Wylam Investments shared our enthusiasm to create an exceptional facility and have worked tirelessly to create what will be a great leisure destination for visitors and local people to enjoy.
"Wylam Investments have been keen to move with speed and we are grateful for the clarity and prompt response to the options presented throughout the pre-application phase by the planning team at Birmingham City Council.
“The design of the leisure complex is in keeping with surrounding developments and particularly the successful Redrow Hemisphere development opposite, which is already constructed and over 95 per cent occupied.
It will also blend well with the large public space and landscaping at Edgbaston Mill using high quality materials.”
Alastair Cattrell, chief executive of Wyman Investments, added: “We saw an opportunity to introduce a superb hotel and leisure facilities. Some people may consider Birmingham has enough hotels, but we believe a truly magnificent hotel on the edge of the city opposite a world famous sporting landmark will attract discerning travellers and local people.
“No other site can offer the surrounding facilities of Edgbaston Mill, including an international cricket venue and one of the best parks in Birmingham, combined with such easy access to the city centre.
“We also looked at the catchment near-by and will be offering exceptional leisure, health and dining facilities that will appeal to people living and working nearby and on the Calthorpe Estate – including three new restaurants.”
With planning approval now confirmed the timetable is to start on site early next year 2011 with the aim to open the hotel and leisure complex by spring 2012 ahead of the London Olympics. Contractors Anglo Holt have been appointed to undertake the scheme.
This latest planning approval follows approval for the new Aldi store at Edgbaston Mill, fronting Edgbaston Road, earlier this year.
Work has started to develop the store – which is set to open next March – which caused controversy when it was first announced after nearby residents claimed they had been promised a more exclusive food retailer on the site.
However, Calthorpe argued that as well as offering a sympathetically designed store for the area, Aldi was also one of the most international food retail brands and would be recognised by the thousands of cricket fans who will be visiting the area every year.