Curtains Open on a New Lease of Life for the Former Harrison Drape Building

Planning permission has been secured for a major mixed use redevelopment of the former Harrison Drape building in Bradford St, Digbeth, Birmingham, encompassing the adjacent site, next to St Anne’s Church. The scheme has been approved by Birmingham City Council Planning Committee subject to a legal agreement.

The scheme, which will support substantial amenity improvements for the area, comprises two hotels (3 and 4 Star rating) totaling 480 rooms, a Conference Centre with capacity for 1000 delegates, 4 retail units, 2100 sqm of office space and a 513 space multi-storey car park which will serve the site and the surrounding area.

In order to preserve a link to the site’s former use and history within Digbeth, the consent scheme will retain the façade of former Harrison Drape building which faces onto Bradford Street.

The development reflects the principles of the emerging Big City Plan and Core Strategy in that they will help enhance the historic character of the area whilst generating employment opportunities and stimulating regeneration within the Southern Gateway Transformation Area.

The Naus Group has agreed a package of planning benefits totalling £150,000. Of these, £90,000 will assist the New Street Station Gateway Project, £35,000 will be spent on improving public space, introducing street furniture and lighting along Bradford Street and a further £25,000 will be given to the Highways Department to improve signage in the area. The final details of the section 106 agreement have still to be finalised.

Keir Price, who dealt with the scheme, said ‘The project reflects the increased interest in the area and follows on from the renewal of the Connaught proposals close to the Coach Station and other schemes along Bradford Street. There is a growing sense of anticipation in the area that things are moving forward after a lull and the Harrison Drape proposals are a good example of this.’