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BirminghamWeAre is a community devoted to social value, providing a shared space for people who make a difference and together have a positive social impact across the City.

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Construction & regeneration
14 Jul 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

New Digbeth Residential Project: 176-183 Moseley Street

A new 131-bed apartment scheme in Digbeth goes to Planning Committee later this week - and it's recommended for approval. This is 176-183 Moseley Street.

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New Digbeth Residential Project: 176-183 Moseley Street





A new 131-bed apartment scheme in Digbeth goes to Planning Committee later this week - and it's recommended for approval. This is 176-183 Moseley Street.


176-183 MOSELEY STREET

Recommendation: Approval subject to a S106 agreement

Brought forward by Euro Property Investments, 176-183 Moseley Street is a PRS (Private Rental Scheme) development of 131 one, two and duplex apartments in the ever-evolving Digbeth district of Birmingham.

Positioned at the junction of Moseley Street and Alcester Street, the development will see demolition of a rundown industrial site before a part 6, part 7 storey new build can commence.

The development encompasses the emerging Rea Valley Urban Quarter (more below) and will be set around a landscaped internal courtyard, with apartments boasting balconies and open terraces.

Birmingham Interactive Development Map

Yeme Architects have designed this contemporary apartment block, with the project framed to maximise the potential of the site by aiding much-needed regeneration.

The mix of apartments will deliver a total of 66 one and 65 two & duplex bedroom units; with the proposal meeting a wide range of housing needs through the addition of larger duplex units, and a range of sizes for the one and two bedroom apartments. 

The new development will repair the damage caused by the current crop of buildings by redefining the street and bringing a much needed visual benefit to the area.

The massing will been subdivided into distinct blocks to help reduce its scale on adjacent streets. It'll wrap entirely around the footprint of the site, allowing for a communal courtyard facility, with balcony space; each unit will have some element of private outdoor space, be it balcony or terrace.

Given the proximity to the Eastside-leg of the Midland Metro Tram - set to kick off in 2021, provision has been made for 188 secure cycle spaces and just 19 vehicles. Both will be situated on the lower ground floor, accessed via Moseley Street.

Two pedestrian access points will be included - the first from Moseley Street via steps, and the second from Alcester Street, where access to the inner courtyard will be provided. Lifts will serve all floor levels.

Interestingly, Birmingham City Council's Transportation Department have requested a S278 agreement requesting a new footway crossing and a redundant one reinstated prior to development being occupied.

AFFORDABILITY

The developer has explained that their return would not be sufficient to support 35% affordable housing, and one that would make the development unviable.

Nevertheless, 13 Low Cost Home Ownership dwellings (8 one & 5 two bed) will be available at 80% of market value – providing a minimum of 10% on site affordable housing.

FIRST UP: DEMOLITION

The existing site contains poor quality buildings and a large forecourt ruled by car parking.

Small wholesale, manufacturing and retail businesses currently operate from these units. Plans will result in the loss/relocation of 6 businesses - a loss of circa.20 jobs.

REA VALLEY URBAN QUARTER 

The Rea Valley Urban Quarter SPD encompasses the front part of this site, and offers a once-in-a-lifetime prospect for the City.

But what is it? 

It's an aspiration that seeks to create a linear park/green leafy space spanning the length of Moseley Street, eventually linking up with the future Smithfield redevelopment & Highgate Park.

It will attempt to eradicate vehicular traffic other than for access to properties along Moseley Street and endorse increased footfall along the route.

The River Rea is a notoriously under-utilised asset in the city and one with the potential to act as a major catalyst for high-quality regeneration schemes.

Aspirations include opening-up the river bank to create an exceptional public space with sustainable new residential and commercial developments either side.

And this is where 176-183 Moseley Street comes in. Due to the location, the design response from Yeme has seen the building set-back to incorporate greenery and, together with balcony spaces facing the street, reflects the future ambitions for the creation of a green and active street.

You can read the draft document here: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/rea-valley-spd/

176-183 Moseley Street goes to Planning Committee on July 16th 2020.

Words by Stephen Giles with artists Impressions from Yeme Architects.

TWITTER: @Buildsweare

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30 passion points
Construction & regeneration
14 Jul 2020 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The Construction of the Mercian - July 2020 - Over Halfway Up!

The Mercian on Broad Street is over halfway up and the cladding has resumed installation, now visible from a distance, the 'shoulder' on the Tennant Street side is structurally complete. It looks like the crane extending mechanism is being installed too.

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The Construction of the Mercian - July 2020 - Over Halfway Up!





The Mercian on Broad Street is over halfway up and the cladding has resumed installation, now visible from a distance, the 'shoulder' on the Tennant Street side is structurally complete. It looks like the crane extending mechanism is being installed too.


14th July 2020

10th July 2020

9th July 2020

8th July 2020

7th July 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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40 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
14 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Engine Pool, Terry's Pool and Windmill Pool at Earlswood Lakes

A visit to Earlswood Lakes near Solihull in June 2020. Built as canal feeder reservoirs for the Stratford-on-Avon Canal, they are within the Stratford-on-Avon District of Warwickshire. Three pools including the Engine Pool, Terry's Pool and Windmill Pool. Built in the 1820s. Also here is the Earlswood Engine House built in 1821 to pump water to the canal. Good for walks.

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The Engine Pool, Terry's Pool and Windmill Pool at Earlswood Lakes





A visit to Earlswood Lakes near Solihull in June 2020. Built as canal feeder reservoirs for the Stratford-on-Avon Canal, they are within the Stratford-on-Avon District of Warwickshire. Three pools including the Engine Pool, Terry's Pool and Windmill Pool. Built in the 1820s. Also here is the Earlswood Engine House built in 1821 to pump water to the canal. Good for walks.


Earlswood Lakes

A visit to Earlswood Lakes for a morning walk on the 8th June 2020. I'd never been here before as The Lakes Station on the Shakespeare Line is a request stop, so hadn't got around to going here (I had previous got a train to Earlswood Station and gone to Earlswood Garden & Landscape Centre but no further). Ended up going in the car. The car park on Wood Lane were open again and is a good starting point for a walk around the lakes.

The Earlswood Lakes are three man made reservoirs built in the 1820s in Earlswood, Warwickshire to supply water to the nearby Stratford-on-Avon Canal. Which goes from Kings Norton Junction (from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Kings Norton) to Bancroft Basin in Stratford-upon-Avon. Construction took 5 years and some of the labour force included prisoners of war from the Napoleonic Wars. Being that it was so close to Birmingham, the lakes was popular from visitors from the city from the early 1900s. The Lakes Station nearby would get visitors on the Shakespeare Line from Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon (although today it is a request stop). Is about a 15 minute walk away. The car park at Earlswood Lakes is free.

There is three pools here, the Engine Pool, Terry's Pool and the Windmill Pool. There is also the Grade II listed Engine House next to the Engine Pool. The lakes are good for walking, fishing and sailing. You would find a variety of wildlife here, plus there is also a nearby Craft Centre.

 

The walk we did was started around the Engine Pool. Then went around Terry's Pool. Completed the second part of the Engine Pool. Then passed the Windmill Pool (but didn't go around it). Cycling around Earlswood Lakes is not currently allowed. So cyclists must stick to the main roads only.

 

Earlswood Engine House

The Engine House was built in 1821 and is a Grade II listed building. It is near the car park on Wood Lane and can also be seen from Valley Road and from the Engine Pool. It had a steam engine which pumped water from Earlswood Lakes to the nearby Stratford-on-Avon Canal. This view was over the fence from the car park.

There was also views of the Engine House from the other side of the Engine Pool. Built of red brick, it also has a low pitched Welsh slate roof.

This close up view of the Engine House from the Engine Pool, not far from Valley Road. I think it is no longer in use. But there is also a white plaque to the left hand side of the building.

Engine Pool

First up a walk around the Engine Pool at Earlswood Lakes. We headed to the right, starting from the car park.

There is a metal footbridge with a dam between the Engine Pool and Terry's Pool.

The water in the lake had receeded quite a bit. This was only a week or so after the May heatwave had ended.

Some parts of the Engine Pool had these old wooden decking. Some could do with repairing.

Crossing the metal footbridge between the Engine Pool (left) and Terry's Pool (right).

These wooden steps to the Engine Pool look broken. In need of repair.

With the water so low at the time, people could walk on the banks of the reservoir. After the walk around Terry's Pool, we resumed the walk around the Engine Pool towards Malthouse Lane.

Later on was crossing Malthouse Lane between the Windmill Pool (left) and the Engine Pool (right). At certain points there was bays to avoid the traffic. Also good for views of the lakes.

The only place cyclists are allowed to ride on was on the main roads. Currently cyclists can not ride their bikes around the paths around the lakes. But on Malthouse Lane it is fine as that is a road. Also has a pair of double yellow lines. On the right was a viewing area of the Engine Pool with a bench.

From the section along Valley Road, looking back at the side of the Engine Pool alongside Malthouse Lane.

It was all so peaceful going around the lakes. Other than the traffic on the roads.

Near the end of the Engine Pool walk and back to the car park.

Terry's Pool

The walk around Terry's Pool was more covered by trees, so harder to see the lake. Also the path would be rougher than around the Engine Pool. Here was the view just before the metal bridge that splits the Engine Pool from Terry's Pool.

With trees covering most of the Terry's Pool walk it was hard to see the pool, but there was some spots. And you could see some of the birds flying around here.

We went around Terry's Pool in a clockwise direction.

More of the same with the trees making reflections in the pool.

When going around you hardly realise that you have gone around it.

Some trees like this one was growing out of the pool!

Another tree covered view.

Here a tree branch slightly blocks the view of the pool here.

That could be the same tree in the pool, but seen from the other side.

Near the end of the Terry's Pool walk.

And with the metal bridge in view it would soon be time to cross it again to walk around the second half of the Engine Pool.

It was even possible to see Malthouse Lane in the distance beyond the metal bridge.

Windmill Pool

No walk around the Windmill Pool, just saw it from the road and bays on Malthouse Lane (opposite the Engine Pool).

Saw this red / white buoy / ball in the Windmill Pool. Made a nice reflection in the water.

This lake stretches quite far. Wasn't sure about walking around this one, as saw a sign on the gate from when the lockdown restrictions were tougher.

I would assume that the paths goes all the way around it. There are trees around at least three sides of this pool.

From Malthouse Lane could see that there was another bay for observing the pool on Valley Road.

This side of Malthouse Lane also had a big bay for watching the pool with benches as well. After this back around the last leg of the Engine Pool and back to the car park.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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70 passion points
Construction & regeneration
14 Jul 2020 - Stephen Giles
News & Updates

Gun Quarter Projects: The Crown Works

If the Jewellery Quarter is the cool-kid, then the Gun Quarter is the dark sheep of the city. We take a look at the latest development to hit the Gun Quarter: The Crown Works. Recommended for approval on July 16th.

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Gun Quarter Projects: The Crown Works





If the Jewellery Quarter is the cool-kid, then the Gun Quarter is the dark sheep of the city. We take a look at the latest development to hit the Gun Quarter: The Crown Works. Recommended for approval on July 16th.


'THE CROWN WORKS'

Recommendation: Approval

Brought forward by Czero Developments, The Crown Works is a BTR (Build to Rent) development of 203 one, two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses designed for modern city living, in an up and coming area of Birmingham.

Historically, the Gun Quarter (aka St. George & St. Chad) was at the heart of the world’s gun-manufacturing industry, and whilst it still creates, nowadays the area is changing in character and density, with new industrial style apartments and student digs.

Located on an unkempt stretch of Hanley Street/Lower Loveday Street, The Crown Works will deliver a sustainable new community that enhances the historic nature of the area, by providing a total of 91 one, 99 two and 13 three bedroom apartments - all exclusively for rent.

20 (10%) of the units are to be provided for low cost market rent at a 20% discount of market rent - comprising of 9 one bed & 11 two bedroom apartments. 

Birmingham Interactive Development Map

The development will range from 4-8 storeys tall and will comprise of shared landscaped gardens, public and private roof terraces, co-working spaces and two flexible ground floor commercial units.

It has been designed by London-based Claridge Architects – the architectural practice behind Timber Yard and Soho Loop.

Their design is contextual and has been formulated to offer a modern, enhanced interpretation of the area.

VIEWS: Looking up Summer Lane

All residents will have undiluted access to the facilities on offer, including: co-working space; an exercise studio; dining & meeting rooms; 970 sq.m of landscaped shared amenity space & a 290 sq.m landscaped roof garden.

19% of the apartments will profit from private amenity space.

This is the site as we know it today:

Summer Lane: Google Street Maps

...and how it'll look;

The above model shows the Summer Lane frontage, as well as the stepped down approach on Lower Loveday Street to the right.

The lower element has been designed to sympathetically reduce the impact on the locally listed building next door on Lower Loveday Street.

VIEWS: Lower Loveday Street looking towards Summer Lane

Here we see the massing increasing from 4 to 6 floors, before the tallest element reaches 8 storeys facing onto Summer Lane. The colour palette will be predominantly red/ brown brick tones.

The below model showcases the Hanley Street block elevation; this is a distinct one in that it introduces pitched roof space, which breaks up the scale of the massing.

It’s been designed to provide a contemporary interpretation of the areas industrial grain.

The pitched building will feature green/grey stock brick. This will go a long way to complimenting the red brick tones of the adjacent block. Decorative glazed ceramic spandrel panels will adorn the upper floors.

QUICK GLANCE: FLOOR BY FLOOR

Lower ground floor:

The scheme provides two flexible commercial spaces, with uses set to be decided by user demand. Access into the site will be located on Summer Lane, but will come with secondary accesses on Hanley Street and Lower Loveday Street.

Vehicular parking will be accessed off Hanley Street, where 29 cars, including 4 accessible spaces and electric charging points will be offered. 2 car parking spaces will be allocated for car sharing schemes. In addition, the proposal provides space for 11 motorcycles.

204 cycle parking spaces, with workshop space, will be included, and these will be split into two enclosed cycle stores. 

Ground floor:

On the ground floor, residents are met with a double height reception lobby with concierge. Services here include a fitness studio, co-working and meeting/dining space, plus the landscaped courtyard.

Upper floors:

Floors 1-5 of The Crown Works are fundamentally alike, with a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments.

Sixth floor: 

Here, the sixth floor offers duplex apartments and a fabulous array of private amenity space for those lucky enough to be occupying the upper floors. 

Roof terrace:

2017 ISSUES AND THE INTRODUCTION OF ‘CAZ’

The development site encompasses the Birmingham City Council 'Clean Air Zone', which aims to improve air quality through discouraging polluting vehicles from entering the City Centre. This will likely come into play across the city from 2021.

Back in 2017, Xian Developments came forward with an outline application for the site: this was withdrawn, before bursting back onto the scene with a full planning application - this was refused at committee for noise related issues, with objections from nearby companies.

Fast-forward to today and whilst there is a chance residents could complain about noise, it is worth noting that rooms are now located to the quieter courtyard side - making this application vastly different from the 2017 one.

The adjacent factory supplies parts to Jaguar Land Rover; they have now decided to relocate, thus potentially eliminating any obstacle. The factory will linger, however, but with no tenant.

‘CAZ’ is coming into effect: will companies want to pay £50 a day to drive a HGV into the City Centre?

The Crown Works goes to Planning Committee on July 16th at 11am.

Artists Impressions: Claridge Architects
 
TWITTER: @Buildsweare

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30 passion points
Green open spaces
13 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Mill Lodge Park not far from Shirley Station

There is a small park not too far from Shirley Station. Called either Mill Lodge Park (according to Google Maps) or the Colebrook Recreation Ground. Located on Green Lane and Aqueduct Road in Solihull. The River Cole flows through the park. To the north is the Aqueduct Road Meadow Local Wildlife Site. Beyond that you can walk into the Shire Country Park on the Birmingham Solihull border.

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Mill Lodge Park not far from Shirley Station





There is a small park not too far from Shirley Station. Called either Mill Lodge Park (according to Google Maps) or the Colebrook Recreation Ground. Located on Green Lane and Aqueduct Road in Solihull. The River Cole flows through the park. To the north is the Aqueduct Road Meadow Local Wildlife Site. Beyond that you can walk into the Shire Country Park on the Birmingham Solihull border.


Mill Lodge Park

Mill Lodge Park is quite close to Mill Lodge Primary School and the Coronation Youth and Community Centre. It is on Green Lane and Aqueduct Road in Shirley, Solihull. It is also known as the Colebrook Recreation Ground. The River Cole flows through the park, and it is a short walk away from Shirley Station, which is on Haslucks Green Road. The Aqueduct Road Meadow Local Wildlife Site is to the north and runs towards Colebrook Road.

Beyond the park you can walk up Nethercote Gardens. If you cross over some stepping stones on a stream, you leave Solihull and enter Birmingham, and will then be in the Scribers Lane SINC of the Shire Country Park. This follows the route of the River Cole as well.

2017

A look at Mill Lodge Park during April 2017 from the Green Lane entrance. Also the entrance to the car park from the right.

A look at the River Cole from the bridge on Green Lane.

The grass was mown short and was wooden bollards near here. I entered the park at the time from the Aqueduct Road entrance.

The path heading towards the Aqueduct Road Meadow.

Getting close to the footbridge that crosses the River Cole. The Aqueduct Road Meadow is to the left of here.

There is sign all about the Aqeuduct Road Meadow Local Wildlife Site. Love Nature.

About to cross the footbridge over the River Cole.

A look at the River Cole on the side of Mill Lodge Park.

Also the other side of the River Cole on the side of the Aqueduct Road Meadow. Towards Colebrook Road.

First look at the Colebrook Recreation Ground Play Area.

Some kind of tyre swing on a steel bar.

2020

Popped back into Mill Lodge Park back in January 2020, after I went to find the pond at Priory Fields. Entering the park again from Aqueduct Road.

Different conditions to my last visit here when I crossed the footbridge over the River Cole. It was winter, the trees were bare and the grass was different near the river banks.

The path into Mill Lodge Park alongside the River Cole.

A look at the playground again.

Some kind of peddle bike that kids can go round in circle on.

Seesaw, swings and a slide in the play area.

It was a bit wet and soggy at the time. But this was back when it was still OK to use playgrounds.

The bridge on Green Lane over the River Cole looking towards the new housing estate off Aqueduct Road.

Also a look at the car park to Mill Lodge Park from Green Lane.

Went back for a lockdown walk in May 2020. Starting at Mill Lodge Park and following the River Cole towards the Scribers Lane SINC in the Shire Country Park and back. First up a look at the River Cole from the lower path in the park.

There is two paths here. The path on the left that I was on is near the River Cole. The path on the right was close to the playing field. Some people were playing football or sitting on the grass.

Over the great lockdown, there had been a lot of growth in the parkland all over the West Midlands. And at Mill Lodge Park that was no exception. Cow parsley seen growing near the River Cole and the Aqueduct Road Meadow.

The scene had changed a lot in the months since I was last here. This River Cole view of the Aqueduct Road Meadow towards Colebrook Road.

River Cole view with the footbridge towards the football field.

Now on the path toward Colebrook Road in the Aqueduct Road Meadow area.

About halfway to Colebrook Road.

Getting close to Colebrook Road. After this we would cross over the road onto Nethercote Gardens and continue the walk into the Scribers Lane SINC (over some stepping stones). You have to remember that May was hot and sunny all month long, and very dry.

Later back to Colebrook Road and a look at the River Cole with all those trees. Just before going back onto the path alongside the Aqueduct Road Meadow.

Now back on the path in the Aqueduct Road Meadow. Some cow parsley on both sides.

Was still people playing football in the field over there.

Back in the car park before we left Mill Lodge Park. A wonderful blue sky and sunshine. Why didn't May's weather stay into June and July?

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points

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