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61 Storeys Of Confidence In Birmingham, Plus A £100K Per Floor Payout To Taxpayers, What's Not To Like?

Sky lounge at 100 Broad St., Birmingham

Plans for what will easily be Birmingham's tallest skyscraper so far are on the brink of approval by city planners.

The height of the building isn't the only remarkable thing about it: At a time when some local authorities, such as Manchester and Salford, are facing criticism for failing to levy enough funding from developers to pay for local infrastructure and affordable housing, Birmingham city council has struck a remarkable deal. The developers will pay more than £6M in levies.

In all, developers will pay £100K per floor to cover infrastructure and affordable housing in the area.

At 193 metres, the Glancy Nicholls-designed tower stands tall compared to the 152 metres BT Tower, the existing tallest structure. It also rises above the 132 metre Mercian Tower, developed by Moda Living, now under construction and due for completion in 2022. No towers are expected to reach higher than this 61-storey monster in this development cycle.

The 500-unit apartment development will be topped with a viewing lounge on levels 59 and 60.

The development by local property business Europe Property Investment goes before city planners on 16 January 2020. The developers will contribute £2.4M to on-site affordable housing, under a deal reached with the council about the viability of the project. The full Community Infrastructure Levy due will be an additional £3.7M.

Councillors have been assured the tower plan, combined with other tower proposals now emerging for Broad Street, will not turn the boulevard into a wind tunnel, although it will make some rooftops a little breezier.

"Whilst there are instances of deterioration in wind conditions, most notably on Bierkeller roof top bar, according to the Lawson comfort criteria this area could still be used for its given function. Therefore acknowledging the complexities and limitations of predicting wind microclimates and on the basis of the information submitted I am satisfied that the proposal would not have an adverse impact on the wind environment of the built environment," the council's senior planner advised councillors.

The official report to the Birmingham City Council planning committee, can be found here.