A planning application to transform a 20-storey city centre tower into apartments in Birmingham has been put on hold after developers were told to provide more affordable homes.
Developer Henderson Global wanted to add four storeys to the 1970s Metropolitan House which overlooks Five Ways island in Edgbaston and convert the offices into 182 flats with a restaurant, bar or gym on the ground floor.
The application included a new neighbouring building of up to 14 storeys to be used as a hotel or student hall of residence, with either a restaurant bar, gym or car showroom on the ground floor.
But the city council’s planning department was set to refuse the scheme because the developer had designated only two flats as “affordable” – available at 60 per cent of the market rate.
The planning application was withdrawn but now Global Henderson is in talks with the council and could resubmit the proposals in the near future.
Council policy states that at least 13 of the two bedroom apartments should be affordable, or offset with a £943,000 donation towards housing in the vicinity. The developer was only prepared to offer £150,000, which equates to two properties.
The company also failed to provide spin-off cash to improve the Chamberlain Gardens public open space as requested.
Planning officers are also concerned that plans for the four-storey extension, which would house penthouse apartments, do not include enough detail to ensure it complies with planning policies.
Metropolitan House, also known as 1 Hagley Road, was designed by famed Birmingham Library architect John Madin in the early 1970s.
Planning official Victoria Barnett said: “Suitable planning obligations to secure a financial contribution towards the affordable housing and public open space have not been proposed as part of this scheme and, as such, the proposal fails to meet with policies.
“In addition, insufficient information has been submitted to enable a full assessment of the proposed tower extension.”
A spokeswoman for Global Henderson said: “We have withdrawn the plans, but are working with the planning department to find a way forward and expect to submit a new planning application in future.”