New Street Plan Must Overcome Setback; COMMENT

Article excerpt

Towers plan shelved - page 1

The refurbishment of New Street has always been about more than building a new station. Regenerating the surrounding area is an integral part of the vision that the city council and other organisations presented to the Government, in an effort to win funding.

Those efforts paid off, when Ministers announced they had decided to back the project - and to provide significant public money.

But the credit crunch and the resulting recession has thrown some aspects of the scheme into doubt.

As we report, construction of planned new residential properties is to be delayed.

The city council is to be asked to approve changes to planning permission so that the station refurbishment can go ahead without the "city living" high rise tower block that was to accompany it, at least for now.

Perhaps this shouldn't come as a surprise. The property market is still in a parlous state.

There are signs of recovery, but it is nonetheless understandable if developers feel this is not the right time to invest in major new projects.

Any delay in constructing the new accommodation is a blow to the city, as the planned new facility would have contributed to the regeneration of Birmingham city centre and the creation of thousands of jobs. …