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The Battle of Digbeth: SevenCapital Tries Again

Digbeth High Street

SevenCapital's three years of efforts to win planning permission for a 28-storey apartment scheme in Digbeth have hit another roadblock.

The 770-unit, four-building scheme at Connaught Square has already been rethought once since the planning application was submitted. The result was to reduce the number of apartments from 940 units.

The 3.4-acre site is bounded by High Street (Deritend), Rea Street, Bradford Street and Stone Yard.

A decision on the application, first submitted in 2016, has now been delayed whilst councillors seek further information, Midlands Business Insider reports.

Official council paperwork tells the full story.

The move followed ojections from the local residents' association and Historic England about the height of the building and its influence on the Digbeth Conservation Area. In addition, a council report identified the Connaught Square site as outside the designated area for tall buildings, but part of the Birmingham Enterprise Zone which was expected to see a strong office/commercial element to mixed-use proposals.

The proposals also follow an earlier clash with the planning committee in which members decided that "the previous 20 storey tower proposals... [were]  unimaginative and the proposed materials were dull, unattractive and would dominate the landscape," according to an official report.

Whilst council officials recommended approving the SevenCapital proposal, councillors decided to pause for further thought.

The site has been the subject of a series of large-scale residential proposals over the last decade, starting with a 2008 application for 667 units.