Planning approval granted for Selly Oak PBSA

Watkin Jones receives planning approval for Selly Oak - a purpose-built student accommodation scheme in Birmingham.

Canal view of the Selly Oak scheme in Birmingham - Watkin Jones | Glenn Howells Architects | PBSA News
Canal view of the Selly Oak scheme in Birmingham.

Watkin Jones has received resolution to grant planning permission for Selly Oak – a purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme on Elliott Road in Selly Oak, Birmingham. The committee approved the plans with nine votes in favour and one against. The new scheme will relieve pressure on local housing by providing new homes for students within easy walking distance of the University of Birmingham.

Designed by multi-award-winning, Birmingham-based, Glenn Howells Architects, the scheme includes 523 student homes – a mix of 388 cluster rooms and 135 studios. Selly Oak will also provide residents with a space to socialise.

“This is a superb scheme that will create new homes for students, reduce pressure on local housing, boost local businesses and transform the canal side for everyone to enjoy, creating long term value for the local community. Residents will be able to cycle to the University of Birmingham in under 10 minutes and centre of Birmingham in under 25 minutes along the canal, adding to the sustainability of a development that is designed to minimise its impact on the environment.

“Developments like this are a great example of how to use brownfield land to make sustainable urban living attractive and meet the growing need for new homes. 

“We always receive a lot of interest from institutions that want to invest in Birmingham. The strength of the market here speaks to the continued success of the city as a powerhouse economic and cultural centre, as well as its attraction for students.”

Alex Pease, Chief Investment Officer, Watkin Jones Group

The Selly Oak development is designed to be highly sustainable, meeting BREEAM ‘Excellent’. The conversion to a car-free residential scheme from an industrial unit will reduce vehicle traffic from the site by 96%.

Residents will be encouraged to walk or cycle the short distance to the University of Birmingham – or use nearby bus routes that connect to the university. The Selly Oak scheme’s central square and canalside outdoor areas will offer space for students to relax. The outdoor areas will include planting that will increase local biodiversity.

“We’re delighted that our new canalside, green residential campus has been approved by Birmingham City Council today [30 September 2021].  At the core of the scheme is a private courtyard garden that visually reconnects the site to the canal, while the Victorian terraced houses to the south are complimented by the domestic language of the red brick façades. The highly sustainable location within close proximity to shops, bars, restaurants and various forms of public transport will not only re-animate this stretch of the canal but will also enhance the residential setting of Elliot Road.” 

Sandeep Shambi, Partner, Glenn Howells Architects

Selly Oak is Watkin Jones’ third planning success in recent months in the Midlands, having also received planning permission for a 354 PBSA development in central Nottingham, and a 551 home Build to Rent development at Sherlock Street in Birmingham City Centre.