Members of Birmingham's planning committee get their first chance this week to comment on the proposed £500 million redevelopment of New Street Station.

An application by Network Rail for outline planning approval comes before the committee on Thursday.

No decision is expected until later in the year, although the scheme has already been warmly welcomed by city council director of planning and regeneration Clive Dutton.

In a report to the committee, Mr Dutton said the modern design being proposed for the station would complement the Bullring shopping centre and put paid to New Street's "drab" image.

It would also end passenger overcrowding on the platforms, which has involved regularly closing New Street at peak times for health and safety reasons.

Mr Dutton added: "This proposal seeks to modernise and update the existing station and its associated facilities to accommodate increased passenger capacity and provide a landmark station which will significantly contribute to the status and continued regeneration of the city centre and the West Midlands region.

"Platform clutter is to be removed, subways infilled and vertical circulation improved in order to enhance the operational efficiency of the station. The concourse would be tripled in size, new waiting areas and ticketing facilities introduced.

"The scheme proposes to wrap the building with a new facade with a curved translucent glass-panelled exterior and new roof. This would add uniformity to the building and greatly improve people's perception of where the station is located.

"It would also greatly improve the visual amenity of the area complementing the adjoining new Bullring and current refurbishment of the Pallasades."

The scheme also involves demolishing Stephenson Tower and building two new 30-storey residential and office towers.

Passengers will be able to use a new entrance to the south of the station on the corner of Hill Street and Station Street. A shopping mall will run through the station concourse.

A Department for Transport study concluded that the new station will be able to accommodate twice as many passengers.