One of Birmingham’s oldest businesses is set to relocate to new premises in the Jewellery Quarter after securing planning permission.
The Birmingham Assay Office, which was founded in 1773 by industrialist Matthew Boulton, is looking to move to modern industrial unit to be built on Icknield Street.
It tests and hallmarks precious metals and gemstones, and values jewellery for major makers and is the largest Assay Office in the world.
Assay master Michael Allchin said that the current office in Newhall Street, is now out of date. “It is a fine Victorian building but is not suitable for a modern business,” he said.
The proposal is for a new three storey building, with a 29 space car park on vacant land at the junction of Ickneild Street and Pope Street.
Council planners heard that residents living near the new unit are concerned over potential noise and nuisance from the business and called for a noise impact assessment to be made to ensure they can ‘open their windows in the summer’.
Committee member John Clancy (Lab, Quinton) said: “I welcome light industrial development. This is a landmark business and a gateway location. The Assay Office goes to the heart of the industry this city was built upon.
“Clearly there is a tension between residents and the industry, but this is the Jewellery Quarter and area where we expect light industry and residential development.”