The ‘monstrosity’ student tower next to McDonald’s at Birmingham pier

A proposed luxury student apartment building next to the Bristol Road McDonald’s has been branded a ‘monstrosity’ as its planning application was unanimously denied. The block would have offered students free breakfast on weekdays and utility bills included in the rent if approved.

Local leaders and residents were outraged by the proposal, which was later voiced on Thursday Birmingham City Council Planning committee meeting. Damage to the Edgbaston Conservation Area, lack of demand for student accommodation in the area, and the scale of development were the council’s main concerns.

Cllr Matt Bennett of Edgbaston led the review of the plans. He said: ‘The impact that this, I have to say, monstrosity of a building is going to have on the Edgbaston conservation area is quite significant. This would be completely contrary to the conservation zone and completely disproportionate to the needs of the zone.

READ MORE: A 26-storey ‘luxury’ student tower next to McDonald’s in Birmingham is planned

“We also object to the lack of parking. I can tell you, as a representative of the Edgbaston district, that the students own cars and will park them on the streets surrounding this development. »

A mix of students from University of Birmingham , Birmingham City University, Newman University, Aston University and University College Birmingham are said to have inhabited the block. A 2020 report indicates that more than 7,000 full-time students will need accommodation in Birmingham over the next five years, compared to the 5,619 beds currently planned.

The 26-storey tower would have contained 627 beds and an on-site gym, cinema, GP, communal dining room and free bike hire. But Cllr Bennett has warned that if the new block is approved he will seek a change of use away from student accommodation further down the line due to lack of demand.



Rendered image of what the block would look like

Additionally, the University of Birmingham had commented on the proposal, saying the location was “undesirable” for its students. Councilors agreed they were “unconvinced” that there is sufficient demand for such a development in the area.

An enforcement representative was at the meeting and said the proposal given to advisers was the result of “four years of hard work” and that this development would prevent more family homes from being “cut up” into HMOs.

But his argument was not enough to convince the planning commission, which voted unanimously to refuse the application.

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