Regal Tower Development – Report 2

The proposed development has been criticised by CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) in their assessement of 23 November 2009. This is the government’s quango advisor on architecture, urban design and public space.

PLEASE, can we have some opinions on this added as comments to help with the upcoming Council Ward Meeting on 16 February?…..

In summary, CABE says,


  1. they are uncomfortable about the proposed height of this building
  2. a convincing case has not been made in urban design terms for this scheme
  3. we are concerned for example that the tower will loom over the successful development at Brindley Place
  4. we question whether a building of this height is even viable in structural or economic terms
  5. the lack of breathing space on the ground calls into question whether this particularly constrained site surrounded by traffic is appropriate for such a tall building
  6. we would expect the most visible building in Birmingham to make a generous contribution to public realm at street level, have a positive relationship to its immediate and wider context


They end their summary by saying “we do not think that the current design for this prominent building is good enough for Birmingham and urge the city to demand better. We do not support the current outline planning application.”.

Their final conclusion is:


There may be a case for a tall building on this constrained site, but not without a fundamental rethink of the design generators of the form and architecture, and a wholesale review of the surrounding public realm and highways engineering. In our view, more serious thought about the quality of the street level environment and the approach to sustainability is likely to result in development in a very different form on this site.


To read more of this click here.

Please DO add your views as comments below.

Geoff Caine

PS To see previous Report click here.

4 thoughts on “Regal Tower Development – Report 2

  1. Anthony

    Well to be honest i’m quite sick of Birmingham havin proposes and having them scaled down due to hight restrictions, shadowing over other buildings/areas in the city. It’s quite stupid to be honest, i don’t think the public would be bothered that a 200m tower has arrived in Birmingham. The tourism will increase if somthing new is going on in our city. I’m pretty sure they don’t think about what the public wants!

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  3. Simon

    You have to remember, on an international scale, 200m isn’t that tall. Could you imagine what Manhattan would be like if every building had to supply a shadowing report, and someone else moaned it shadowed their 300m tower which is built between two 250m towers.

    We have suffered from CAA’s awful tall buildings height limit, Holloway Circus Tower (10 holloway Head, Radisson SAS at Holloway Head) is a prime example, the building had to see a major height reduction from 192m to 121m. Go back 5 years earlier, Arena Central Tower, a planned 245m tower, was scrapped in effect because London did not want us having it.

  4. Geoff Caine Post author

    Quite honestly, I don’t care what the quango says. They do not have to live with it, and that’s what’s important. London based I suspect!.
    We are the second city in the UK and have precious little to boast about, architecturally. OK, we have our listed historic buildings. But, these are curios not ikons to inspire world visitors to come and see.
    We need to have symbols that can be shown on home and distant TV films and other media. These need to unashamedly display our prowess – of, not only, how great Birmingham was in the past in manufacturing but how we have now grasped the modern world’s aspirations. We are so accomplished at creative technology with our superb companies leading the UK and the world.
    Let’s do a little boasting in a flamboyant manor, just as the peacock does, to bring attention to Birmingham, just as the recently opened Burj Khalifa building has in Dubai.

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