Plans for a 51-storey apartment tower in central Birmingham which were approved earlier this year will have to be resubmitted after it emerged an objection by the Victorian Society was not included in a report to councillors.
In April, developer Court Collaboration won permission for its £160 million One Eastside scheme but it emerged a few months later the project was set to go before a judicial review.
Among the reasons cited for the review was the fact an official objection from the Victorian Society charity had not been included in a report presented to members of Birmingham City Council’s planning committee ahead of its meeting on April 23.
As a result, councillors were not able to consider the society’s objection before they awarded planning consent at that meeting.
Birmingham City Council has now conceded this objection should have been included in its report and therefore the judicial review will not proceed and Court Collaboration will have to resubmit its planning application.
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One Eastside’s current consent is for two blocks of 51 and 16 storeys and a third pavilion building on derelict land at the corner of James Watt Queensway and Jennens Road.
It was to contain 667 apartments to rent, residential gardens and courtyards, a gym, cinema and sky lounge.
The original claimant in the case against the project was LaSalle Investment Management which owns the Allegro apartment building at Exchange Square directly opposite the One Eastside site.
Anthony McCourt, founder of Birmingham-based Court Collaboration, said: “We’ve worked incredibly hard to make One Eastside a truly remarkable development for our fantastic city so we were disappointed to see our approved application taken to judicial review.
“While this is frustrating, we remain confident the development will go ahead and our second robust application will allow for just that.
“We will continue to work with key stakeholders with a view to securing an implementable planning permission.
“Birmingham’s progress cannot be held back by those with their own agenda and One Eastside is a part of its future. We won’t allow others to drag our city backwards.
“Court Collaboration resides and lives in this city and its success is at the very heart of what we do.”
In August, High Court judge Mrs Justice Lieven DBE granted the judicial review on five grounds relating to the inadequate treatment of heritage issues by the city council.
These included the apparent failure properly to consult Historic England, the failure correctly to understand and apply Historic England’s advice, the failure to apply the correct legal and policy tests on heritage issues and the failure to give adequate reasons.
The issue pertaining to the Victorian Society’s missing objection from the planning committee report was subsequently added to the grounds for the judicial review following a separate hearing in October.
The charity, which campaigns for the protection of Victorian and Edwardian buildings, previously said it was concerned about the potential impact One Eastside could have on nearby listed buildings such as Curzon Street station, Victoria Law Courts and Methodist Central Hall.
Birmingham City Council said in a statement: “Our decision to concede the judicial review claim was based on a purely procedural omission – that The Victorian Society’s objection was not referenced in the report to the planning committee.
“While confident the remaining grounds of challenge would have been robustly defended, if it had gone to a full hearing, the council’s decision to concede the claim on this procedural ground was taken as it became clear the judicial review was likely to succeed on this alone.
“Therefore, it was in no-one’s interests to spend more time and incur further costs in prolonging these proceedings.
“The council values the views of conservation bodies such as the Victorian Society and is committed to giving proper consideration to heritage matters when considering planning decisions. The second application for One Eastside will be determined in due course, following detailed and robust consideration.”