Greater Birmingham - Thread


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Ray Finkle

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Fantastic pictures :love:

Central Birmingham is really starting to come together now. The Bank Towers are awesome, Moda across the road is looking good and 103 Colmore Row just oozes quality. Paradise is already looking amazing and will really open up the natural flow between different quarters of the city. Arena Central is taking shape and as the entrance to Broad Street and a key link to the canals its importance cannot be underestimated. Once all the towers are built Broad Street will be quite spectacular.

Looking to the future we hopefully have the Eastside Metro extension starting soon? Ish? Dale End is in desperate need of demolition, I take it the plans are quietly progressing behind the scenes? Smithfield is a totally blank canvas and a huge opportunity to create something very, very special, I hope that it's given some serious thought and we get it right. Then we have HS2 which is likely to be the catalyst for some huge development. There is much in the pipeline for Eastside but I'd love a real high quality proposal to act as a pinnacle for the area and scream to those pax leaving the HS2 stop that 'this is Birmingham!' A 300m tower replacing those horrendous Masshouse buildings will do nicely :)

The one concern for me is area around Hill Street which for a key entrance to Grand Central seems to have been forgotten about. It would be nice to see that casino developed/demolished and the impressive old cinema building given a new lease of life. It's disgraceful that The Crown pub remains closed. In a prime location and with such history how it hasn't opened as a museum of rock and roll with a bar/nightclub attached is beyond me. Combine that with something great across the road on the junction with Station Street (was it meant to be a hotel?) and you have the start of a nice link into Chinatown and The Gay Village. Anyone know if it's feasible to breath some life into the street level of that horrible brown building?
 

Ianbutty

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Yes, demolish the b=oody thing and that will be a massive improvement full stop ;)
I agree, Brum X, and I agree with all you say Ray. The city is looking extremely good and the regeneration has about 75 percent to go.

The Hill Street area is awful. I would demolish the cross - there is enough demand to do that. Remove that hideous pedestrian link across the rails and replace it. Pedestrianise hill Street and transform it into a tree lined green park. What that area lacks more than anything is trees, and given that the city is one of the greenest in Europe it is not a good advert.

And yes a 300 m tower outside of the HS2 station.

Exciting times lie ahead.
 

Ianbutty

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Those are beautiful buildings, around and adjacent to Council House, the new towers seem out of place though an improvement upon the old NATWEST building. Cannot architects resist the need to go ultra modern amongst historical surroundings?
It would have worked better with an extra 10 storeys. I am not a fan of stumpy tall buildings. Shame, but I understand the economics of the extra 10 floors.
 

Ray Finkle

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Moda's proposed development on Great Charles Street has been recommended for approval :)

Reading the article some of those comments from the council document don't exactly fill me with confidence, or is this normal for such a proposal?


 

Brum X

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Why does Birmingham always have issues with "heritage assets". ??

Every single development proposal in this city always has issues with this subject matter, I don't even class this plot of land as the JQ, it is more Snow Hill to me ? It is also directly opposite 3 Snowhill which was the largest new office development outside London and in the opposite direction we have a 152metre concrete pole aka BT Tower. This is not situated in the heart of the JQ, it is situated in the heart of the city centre.

GET IT BUILT (y)
 

JENNYJET

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Can anyone recall the old Chicago? How about the Anglican Cathedral in the heart of NYC? They dispose of or build around old stuff in the pursuit of progress and when I was little, I predicted Birmingham would be like New York City, lots of shiny glass towers, alas it never came to pass though I would like the heritage be preserved if at all possible and if architects have any sensitivity to surroundings!
 

Ray Finkle

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I would like the heritage be preserved if at all possible and if architects have any sensitivity to surroundings!

Totally agree Madam JJ.

It breaks my heart when I look at pictures of pre-war Birmingham and some of the incredible buildings we lost.

There are areas of Central Birmingham that absolutely need to be protected, Colmore Row CBD and the Jewellery Quarter immediately jump out as possibly the two most important.

Why does Birmingham always have issues with "heritage assets". ??

Every single development proposal in this city always has issues with this subject matter, I don't even class this plot of land as the JQ, it is more Snow Hill to me ? It is also directly opposite 3 Snowhill which was the largest new office development outside London and in the opposite direction we have a 152metre concrete pole aka BT Tower. This is not situated in the heart of the JQ, it is situated in the heart of the city centre.

GET IT BUILT (y)


It baffled me too as this is nowhere near close enough to the Jewellery Quarter to be an issue. In front of this we have the eight lane Queensway cutting through the city, on one side is the huge Snowhill office development and the railway station and on the other the BT Tower so it's hardly detrimental to the area, especially as this has been wasteland masquerading as a car park for as long as I can remember.

I have absolutely no experience in town planning but going by the visual below (courtesy of The Birmingham Development Blog) I'd say that the developers have successfully bridged the gap between historic low-rise and modern hi-rise and created a transition between the JQ and Snowhill. I also look at all those potential active street level frontages and wonder if it could be an extension of the already successful St Pauls Square restaurant and bar scene?

Anyone who has ventured out in the area will know that the Jewellery Quarter has some fantastic pubs and microbreweries. It may well just be me but walking between pubs after a few real ales I kind of love seeing the towers of Central Birmingham off in the near distance whilst I'm in an area relatively untouched, this can only add to that feeling.




 

JENNYJET

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A good many of the older red brick buildings would look great if the frontages were given a clean, get rid of the accumulated grime and the modern buildings can be even better . Can even make the tram routes a tourist attraction!
 

Scottie Dog

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I have never been a "city" person, far preferring the rural scene - although I have ended up living in the suburbs of Warrington. Having said that I did spend the period 1968-1973 working in central Manchester and so I recall the city centre as it was then and no see the slow rise of the new, and supposedly nicer, glass structures. Certainly these new buildings are far better than most of the concrete monstrosities that some have started to replace. Give me though the old brick or stone frontages, suitably cleaned, with possibly a new interior and I will rest contented.
 

Ianbutty

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Why does Birmingham always have issues with "heritage assets". ??

Every single development proposal in this city always has issues with this subject matter, I don't even class this plot of land as the JQ, it is more Snow Hill to me ? It is also directly opposite 3 Snowhill which was the largest new office development outside London and in the opposite direction we have a 152metre concrete pole aka BT Tower. This is not situated in the heart of the JQ, it is situated in the heart of the city centre.

GET IT BUILT (y)
Planners must give a balanced report. Even if you love a proposal you have to set out negative impacts as well as the positive. The critical thing is the officer recommendation and ultimately what it says on the decision notice.
 

Ianbutty

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https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/22/has-britains-second-larg est-city-reached-breaking-pointtps

Nice article. Well researched and balanced. Love the Mickey take of the name Paradise. I like the reference to the low grant the city has received from central government each year compared with other cities hence the debt, and to the Games and the city centre transformation, new public spaces and having the largest university population outside of London and for being one of the greenest cities in europe and the most resilient city to covid in the UK. Oh how they balanced out their observations.

I don't care what city they are writing about, there is no place for such poor and lazy journalism. The press seem not to be seduced by Brum. Where is Telly Savales when we need him? My kinda town...
 
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