The transformation of New Street Station took a major step forward today as the design was given the stamp of approval by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee.

Work is expected to start in the station later this year and has been planned to minimise the impact on passengers.

All train services will continue to operate and the Pallasades shopping centre remain open throughout the project.

Jo Kaye, route director for Network Rail, said: “New Street station will be transformed into a 21st century transport hub. With the backing of the planning authority we are one step closer to realising this vision. We will continue to refine our plans so that we give New Street the new start it deserves and keep the impact on people’s journeys to a minimum.”

Leader of Birmingham City Council Coun Mike Whitby said: “Today’s endorsement sees a further green light given to one of the most important projects undertaken in this city in generations. It has been a long road in securing funding for Gateway but ultimately our vision for a stunning central station that can cope with Birmingham’s 21st century transport demands has been recognised.

“The redeveloped New Street Gateway will provide a focal point for far wider regeneration of the entire city over the next 10-15 years, and is one of the main components of the city’s £6 billion worth of publicly funded regeneration projects currently on our books.

“Delivering a world-class station to the city will enhance our international reputation and investment potential while also drastically improving services nationally and regionally, and give Birmingham a central station that befits its status as a global destination.”