Having twice been rejected, 1000 Trades is urging Birmingham City Council to turn down the latest plans submitted by developer Seven Capital for Albion Court on Frederick Street.
The plans, which again seek to gain permission for 23 residential units, could have a significant impact on several popular local venues, such as The Button Factory and Frederick’s, as well as 1000 Trades itself. Additionally the high-density nature of the development, together with parking for only two vehicles, is thought to be inappropriate for the area and could add to congestion and inconvenience on what is already a busy street and area.
1000 Trades is at risk of this outcome if the noise mitigation measures proposed in the latest application fail – a risk that we feel abstract modelling undertaken by consultants cannot adequately mitigate given the propensity for ‘real world’ factors to intervene. Furthermore, the mitigation measures proposed rely on a combination of mechanical ventilation and sealed windows (i.e. windows which do not open) to be effective, measures which would not seem to be in keeping with the high quality of accommodation that the Jewellery Quarter might expect to be built. They appear especially unlikely to meet the Council’s concern about “unacceptable living conditions” that were raised in the last rejection of the development.
Guidance published by Birmingham City Council has a standard expectation of 1 parking space per residency, yet the latest application has provision for only 2, for all 23 residencies – creating 21 additional residencies in the Jewellery Quarter without parking spaces. Notwithstanding the proposed provision of cycle facilities and availability of public transport, it remains implausible that several of these 21 would not own a car. Therefore, we will have more on street parking, risking significant disruption and inconvenience to nearby residents and businesses on what are already congested streets. These 20 residencies are likely to increase pressure on the Jewellery Quarter parking permit scheme, increasing the risk that this scheme does not work effectively.
In its response to the last application submitted for Albion Court, the Council observed that 1000 Trades was “of great value to the community”, and we fear that the latest proposals, while they seek to mitigate some of the original concerns, would be unable to by virtue of the fundamentals which underpin the scheme.
Much loved venues such as the Fiddle & Bone have had to close as a result of inappropriate development and we are concerned that similarly thriving places that are an asset to the area should not suffer the same fate.
Do you agree? If you would like to submit comments on the proposals please head to eplanning.birmingham.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer and search for application no. 2018/03393/PA. The deadline for comments is Tuesday 5 June.