Regeneration of Digbeth set to continue

The Digbeth land earmarked for development

The Digbeth land earmarked for development

Digbeth’s regeneration is set to continue apace with developers earmarking former industrial land behind St Anne’s Church for a new apartment complex.

Plans have been submitted to build 170 flats on three acres of land on the corner of Bradford Street and Lombard Street at the heart of the city’s Irish Quarter.

The proposed five-storey development would provide 144 one-bedroom and 26 two-bedroom apartments, 2,960 sq ft of retail space, 57 parking spaces and a further 157 spaces for bikes.

The site comprised a former light industrial unit and associated car parking area which has now been demolished.

In 2011, the plot formed part of a previous project by Naus Group to build a hotel and conference centre which included the old Harrison Drape factory next door.

This project never came to fruition and work has since been started by Seven Capital on turning Harrison Drape into the Fabrick Square, a £30 million complex containing 313 apartments.

This apartment complex has been designed by Worcester-based practice Zebra Architects on behalf of applicant Grange Securities.

A design statement prepared by Zebra said: “Historically, Digbeth was a major industrial area of Birmingham, however much of the industrial buildings have fallen into disuse and the new emerging land usages are predominantly residential and retail use.

“Currently, Digbeth has been named as one of the five key areas of planned development as part of the Big City Plan – a scheme that plans to regenerate the old industrial buildings into apartments, retail premises, offices and art facilities.

“Various public open spaces are found within short distance and the variety of pedestrian, cycle, car and public transport links offer the site various access options.”

Digbeth is being seen as increasingly attractive by property developers because of the large amount of vacant property and its proximity to Bullring, Moor Street and New Street stations and the planned new HS2 terminal in Curzon Street.

Neighbouring districts like Southside and Eastside are also benefiting from regeneration such as the planned revamp of Birmingham Wholesale Markets and Eastside City Park.

Zebra’s design statement added: “The site is predominantly surrounded by existing industrial land.

“Some industrial use is still prominent in Digbeth however much has fallen into disuse.

“There are many examples of residential conversions of industrial buildings as well as more modern residential developments which have made use of brownfield sites.

“Considering the proximity to Birmingham’s city centre, there are a large amount of unused brownfield sites in Digbeth, one of which is the proposed site.”