Demolition of 103 Colmore Row delayed

Birmingham City Council’s planning committee has deferred Sterling Property Ventures and Rockspring’s application to demolish the former NatWest Tower at 103 Colmore Row.

Peter Graham, construction director of Sterling Property Ventures, said: “We are extremely disappointed by this decision, particularly since the application was recommended for approval by the Council’s officers.”

The existing 22-storey skyscraper has been vacant since 2003. The site, part of Birmingham City Centre’s Enterprise Zone, is earmarked for early redevelopment.

The proposed new build will create some 500 direct construction jobs, with the replacement tower housing 2,000 workers.

The joint venture partners, who acquired the site in November 2014, had planned to begin the 10-12 month demolition programme in April, whilst simultaneously seeking planning permission for a replacement commercial building.

Geoff Wright, of GW Planning, adviser to Sterling and Rockspring, said: “The planning committee indicated they need reassurance that the plans for the new scheme will be formally submitted before they will give the go-ahead on demolition.

“The plans are currently out for consultation and our intention is to refine them following the consultation exercise and to lodge an application in May. We had hoped to begin the demolition before then, in order to truncate the build programme. Regrettably, this will now be set back but we will work with Birmingham City Council to overcome their concerns and expedite development.”

Plans for a new 211,000 sq ft 26-storey steel, aluminium and glazed structure were unveiled at a public consultation this week. The building will comprise 196,000 sq ft of office space over 19 floors and 15,000 sq ft of leisure space, including a rooftop restaurant with 360 degrees across the city.