Designs for Birmingham’s new dental hospital have been likened to Soviet bloc building at its worst by council planners.
The committee were scathing of images for the development of a new £31 million hospital on the former BBC Pebble Mill site at Selly Oak.
But the state-of-the-art facility, which will replace the city centre hospital was given approval despite the objections.
Planning committee member Barry Henley (Lab, Brandwood) said the design was poor. “There are blocks of colour which make it look like it is already falling to bits.”
And colleague Bob Beauchamp (Cons, Erdington) added: “It looks like something from the old Soviet republic. This site screams out for a better design.”
Planning officers agreed to work with architects to ensure that the design is improved.
There were also claims that the Hospital has backtracked over car parking spaces, cutting to 247 after promising 292, much to the annoyance of residents who fear their roads will be blocked.
Coun James Hutchings (Cons, Edgbaston) said: “There was a lot of public support because of the parking. Residents have suffered with the University and the new QE hospital parking. I am slightly horrified that this has now been reduced by 25 per cent.”
Transport officers said the parking is more than adequate.
Although critical of the design and parking the committee was supportive of the over all development and investment in healthcare.
After securing planning permission Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust said that work can begin on site in Spring next year with the hospital expected to open in 2015.
Medical director Rick Roberts said: “This represents a very significant step forward and reflects great credit on the excellent work of all partners involved in the project.
“We will continue to listen to the views of our staff and others on the final stage of the business case as we progress towards making these exciting plans a reality.”
Professor Philip Lumley, head of University of Birmingham School of Dentistry said: “We are delighted with the decision which brings us one step closer to having a new, modern facility which reflects our international reputation as a leader in research, teaching and clinical service within dentistry.”
The proposed development is part of Calthorpe Estates’ masterplan to regenerate the site of the old BBC studios.
Ralph Minott, development director for Calthorpe Estates said: “From Calthorpe Estates’ earliest masterplan proposals for Pebble Mill back in 2003, this second major medical approval will cement our ambitions for growth and regeneration at Pebble Mill, linked to this important hub of Medicine, Learning and Life Sciences within Birmingham.
Calthorpe are very pleased with the final designs developed with One Creative Environments Ltd and the city planning team, and how they will integrate within the latest Pebble Mill masterplan.”