Birmingham's Big City Plan sets out a vision for the transformation of Birmingham's City Centre and sets out to create a world class city centre. Harnessing the City's economic strengths, cultural diversity and unrivalled connectivity to both the UK and international audiences the Big City Plan is designed to drive forward the City's future economic prosperity. The Big City Plan identifies five Areas of Transformation which, taken together, will deliver over 1.5 million square metres of floorspace creating exciting new destinations and supporting economic growth. This growth will be accompanied by radical improvements to the quality of the environment, connections and open spaces. The designation of the City Centre as an Enterprise Zone in July 2011 is expected to provide a further catalyst.
Within the Westside Area of Transformation, the proposed Paradise Circus development is expected to deliver up to 130,000 square metres of office space within up to ten new buildings adjacent to some of the City's most important heritage assets. Birmingham City Council have engaged with and worked closely with the developer in order to facilitate the efficient and timely redevelopment of the site. Project groups were established at early pre-application stage to tackle specific challenges such as highways and legal considerations with in-house specialists made available as issues arose.
An Outline Planning Application was submitted in mid 2012 and Birmingham's first Planning Performance Agreement was put in place which established milestones for the application's progress through the planning process and provided a clear delineation of each party's responsibilities. In order to facilitate smooth and timely progress BCC deployed a multi-disciplinary task force of officers to assist in the consideration of the application. This included the negotiation of the complex and significant legal agreement which has secured £5m in contributions whilst enabling a major transformational redevelopment to be brought forward in the current economic climate.
The Outline Planning Consent is now in place, and it is anticipated that the first detailed designs will begin to come forward in the near future.
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