Planning Application for Paradise Circus Approved
An outline planning application has been approved by the BCC Planning Committee for the redevelopment of the current Paradise Circus complex. Proposals were originally given an airing in February 2012 and were met with strong disapproval and scorn from the City Council’s Conservation and Heritage Panel mainly because they thought that “massing up” of new buildings would dwarf, and contrast too much with, surrounding heritage buildings, eg the Town Hall and Council House/Museum buildings. In July 2012 developers Argent, of Brindley Place fame, registered proposals for a 170,000 sq ft development of offices, retail and leisure units, a concert hall, an energy centre plus a 250 bedroom hotel and car parking. This will involve demolition of the Central Library and the other buildings currently enclosed by the Paradise Circus gyratory road system – the only structure to remain will be the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial. The current roadway under the central library will disappear and hence there will no longer be a gyratory road system and there is apprehension in many quarters about the effect on traffic crossing the city centre. The photos below show the extent of the demolition.
It’s perhaps unfortunate that the new buildings are likely to be a strong contrast with the existing historic and grandly constructed buildings, judging from those examples exhibited at the Public Consultation in March last year. However, apart from the height of the buildings (which I believe will be reduced) the circus will be opened up visually and the public walkways enlarged. What will be great is that the museum clock tower, “Big Brum”, and arched link over Edmund Street will be visible from Centenary Square and conversely Centenary Square will be visible from Chamberlain Square. This hopefully will have a similar, though lesser, effect that the Bullring had when making St Martin church visible from High Street.
Searching laboriously through the various unhelpfully named documents in the planning application (2012/05116/PA), I came across some artist’s impressions which illustrate the sort of buildings proposed and how they fit into the scene.
Click below to see these. Well worth a look!
Environmental Statement Environmental Statement – Appendix 10.5 Verified Views And Illustrative
Centenary Square Walkthrough
You may have noticed some recent changes to the building depot area (as below) in Centenary Square for the new Library of Birmingham. So what’s happening?
Centenary Square is to be restored and revamped now that the building of the library is about to complete (February 20th I believe). I have not yet been able to find any plans of the changes.
The depot is essentially moving nearer to Broad Street and a new walkway is under construction to run along the front of the library. So, soon we will be able to see how the library will appear when everything is completed. The library will be handed over to the Birmingham City Council people in April who will then transfer all the books and archives into it ready for the opening in September this year.
Below is the latest Site Snapshot of the library produced by Carillion.