PBSA at Curzon Wharf recommended for planning approval

World’s first mixed-use net zero carbon development, Curzon Wharf in Birmingham which includes purpose-built student accommodation is recommended for planning.

Curzon Wharf plaza. Woodbourne Group have received positive recommendations for planning approval for the mixed-use development | PBSA News
Curzon Wharf plaza. Woodbourne Group have received positive recommendations for planning approval for the mixed-use development.

Curzon Wharf in Birmingham, a ground-breaking vision to create the world’s first mixed-use net zero carbon ready development, which includes purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has been given a positive recommendation for planning approval. Proposals will be considered by Birmingham City Council planning committee on Thursday 23 February.

The hybrid plans for Curzon Wharf, brought forward by investment and development group Woodbourne Group has been the process of seven years of consultation with the local authority, public, and a team of regeneration and built environment specialists. Located on a 993,046 sq ft site currently occupied by graffiti-laden industrial units constructed in the 1960s, the development will include new residential buildings, shops, offices, and research and development and life sciences facilities.

The mixed-use development would deliver a 41-storey purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) tower for 732 students, a 14 storeys middle tower delivering up to 122 residential homes, and a 53 storey Build to Rent tower delivering 498 new rental homes. A luxury and leading student operator has already been secured for the PBSA building.

“Birmingham is now at a turning point and our generation has the opportunity to transform the city into one of the most sustainable and leading cities in the world. The support received by Curzon Wharf is a reflection of that. It has taken us years of hard work to get here, and I hope the committee supports these unique proposals.

“This isn’t just another development, it’s a manifesto that will position Birmingham as the UK’s leading smart and sustainable city – as demonstrated by the highly successful eco-friendly delivery of the Commonwealth Games – helping to pave the way for the country’s Green Revolution. 

“It will act as a catalyst for the wider transformation of the Eastside area where a number of masterplans have been earmarked which otherwise would not be possible. It signposts Birmingham’s route to delivering transformational change to the city, promoting social, cultural and economic exchange in a truly transformative urban neighbourhood.”

Tani Dulay, Chief Executive, Woodbourne Group
Curzon Wharf mixed-use development in Birmingham | PBSA News
Curzon Wharf mixed-use development in Birmingham.

Curzon Wharf will also deliver over 3,000 sq ft of retail units, nearly 130,000 sq ft of office, R&D and life science space, over 15,000 sq ft of leisure space, over 76,424 sq ft of new and improved public realm, and 490 metres of new and improved walking and cycling routes throughout the site. 

“This exciting project will put Birmingham right at the forefront of green, sustainable development and underlines our determination to tackle the climate crisis, while also creating jobs and opportunities for people across the city. Birmingham has the ambition and vision to become a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive city and Curzon Wharf shows our determination to turn vision into reality.”

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward

The Curzon Wharf site is passed by as many as 21 million road users a year when entering the city centre from the north, as it is positioned on the northern entry to Birmingham on the A38 Aston Expressway – just south of Dartmouth Circus. The HS2 Curzon Street Station – which is expected to boost Birmingham’s economy by at least £151m – is an eight-minute walk from the site.

If planning is approved, planning specialists Turley and CBRE have calculated that the mixed-use development would add £2m a year in council tax and business rates and attract a New Homes Bonus of £4m.

“This is an incredibly exciting plan, with the potential to create more than 1,000 jobs at what will be a critical time for our region’s economy as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is brilliant to see how innovative the masterplan is, not only through being net-zero and contributing towards our #WM2041 goal, but also with the life sciences element which will help create a number of high-skilled, well-paid jobs in a key industry of the future, building on the recent investment at the life sciences site in Selly Oak.”  

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street

Curzon Wharf has been welcomed by senior civic leaders, key figures and businesses from Birmingham. These include West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Leader of Birmingham City Council Cllr Ian Ward, Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, Andy Wilkinson, Chair of the Institute of Directors, Preet Gill MP, and the Knowledge Quarter Alliance which includes Aston University, Birmingham City University, Bruntwood, Millennium Point, Unite Union, HS2, Birmingham Ormiston Academy and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.