Planning Application – Tesco Superstore

Site for proposed new Tesco storeTesco has submitted plans for a new superstore on the edge of Birmingham City Centre, within walking distance of the Jewellery Quarter and much of Ladywood.

The land, bounded by Camden Street, Icknield Street and Spring Hill, has been derelict since 2002 when the former Brookfield shopping precinct was demolished. It had long suffered from a lack of tenants and vandalism. Tesco have owned the land for some time so an application has been expected.

But the application is for more than just a Tesco!

The existing Spring Hill Library is sympathetically blended into the development, benefitting from a new glazed entrance and external lift. There will also be four smaller retail units facing Spring Hill with office space above, a small number of maisonettes on the Brookfields side of the development and undercroft car parking.

I'm cautious of new supermarket developments and the impact they can have on local businesses. However in this case I think the development will benefit surrounding businesses - and help provide new jobs in the constituency with the highest unemployment in the UK.


Spring Hill Library

Spring Hill Library - Barack Obama - Black History Month Spring Hill Library

Earlier this week I attended a meeting for the Cardinal Newman Heritage Project at Spring Hill Library, one of the stakeholders. Although I have passed it many times, I had never been inside.

Just a few minutes walk from the Jewellery Quarter, Central Ladywood and Summerfield, the impressive building housing Spring Hill Library is well worth a visit. Inside you'll currently find a series of displays celebrating Black History Month, such as one on Barack Obama (pictured). The library also offers books in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Gujerati and Bengali as well as free internet access. You can book a free one-hour internet taster session.

Although early on a Monday morning, it was good to see the library busy. Spring Hill Library is a great resource for the people of Ladywood and Hockley and long may it continue!

I will be running an exhibition on the Cardinal Newman Heritage Project at Spring Hill Library on the afternoon of Thursday 28th October, so please do stop by to find out more about the project and to take a look around the library.


Planning Application for New Library of Birmingham

Site of the new Library of Birmingham
Proposed design of the new Library of Birmingham

The detailed planning application for the new Library of Birmingham has been submitted, which kicks off a public consultation period. It would appear the controversial design concept remains, although the height has been slightly reduced after complaints it would dwarf its neighbours.

I am pleased to see the building will be connected to the Broad Street CHP (Combined Heat and Power) network. I am also intrigued by this:

Publicly accessible terraces at the third and seventh floors will provide outdoor green spaces for a range of activities, including quiet areas to read and relax with views over the city – while a ‘brown roof’ will provide a natural habitat for wildlife.

Planning Online is currenlty down, having some much needed improvement work, but the plans will be available to view there in the next few days. Alternatively, you can view the plans at the Planning Office, Alpha Tower.