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Old December 4th, 2012, 04:49 PM   #241
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And that's probably one of the biggest issues that we face. There is huge demand for housing in the city centre for more than 2 bedrooms...but they don't produce anything like the amount of return in the short term required to justify the development, hence the shortage. This isn't just a problem with appartments. Just look at how many 1 and 2 bed houses have been built around the city - far more than 3, 4 or 5 beds, just because the margins are better. The same goes for splitting up the 4/5+ bed houses around Edgbaston, Harborne etc. The developer makes a nice profit but in the end it is just damaging for the housing market. There will be more demand for appartments, but only once the problems with larger accomodation are sorted.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 09:32 PM   #242
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I don't think the anti car bias in planning helps either. New Build estates are built to "discourage" car use by having single garages, small drives and roads which are so narrow that cars can only park on one side. What it ends up doing, is discouraging people who need cars from buying them in the first place. I know this, cos we live on a new build.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the arguments for reducing car use.

If you figure that a family with 2 grown up kids is likely to have 4 cars, then a 4 bedroom home with a single garage (barely big enough for most modern cars) and a drive for one car isn't going to be of any interest.

Maybe a decent balance for the environment might be for larger homes to start to come with EV charging points in the garages to allow for them to be more car friendly.

Or heaven forbid, some joined up thinking to put decent public transport infrastructure in as new estates are built to give a real alternative to cars? We got discounted bus passes when we moved in. But a bus to work takes 2.5 hours vs 15 mins in the car, or a 40 minute bike ride. We were apparently the only house on the site who applied for discounted bus travel!

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Old December 4th, 2012, 09:56 PM   #243
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depends what kind of apartments, the 1-2 bed shoe boxes which have been built are not shifting and they didnt really shift when times were good in birmingham. 3 and 4 bedroom apartments and duplex might go down very well.
depends on location, try getting an apartment at Park Central, most sell out near enough within weeks of release to the market. Theres a few remaining in the latest block to be complete and of course Crest Nicholson are forging ahead with the central piazza which is 130+ 1 & 2 bed apartments so there is demand

Bristol St where Tesco want to open should be an extension to Park central in my opinion
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Old December 4th, 2012, 10:01 PM   #244
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I don't think the anti car bias in planning helps either. New Build estates are built to "discourage" car use by having single garages, small drives and roads which are so narrow that cars can only park on one side. What it ends up doing, is discouraging people who need cars from buying them in the first place. I know this, cos we live on a new build.
This is a really good point, it further puts people off when theres cars parked all down the streets bumped up kerbways making it difficult at time to drive through the estate when theres an oncoming car.

Are there any housing estates that have underground parking? maybe this is the way forward to have a basement level below the estates with decent amounts of parking
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Old December 4th, 2012, 10:13 PM   #245
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This is a really good point, it further puts people off when theres cars parked all down the streets bumped up kerbways making it difficult at time to drive through the estate when theres an oncoming car.

Are there any housing estates that have underground parking? maybe this is the way forward to have a basement level below the estates with decent amounts of parking
If there are, I haven't seen them. I'd doubt anything like that would ever be built though, as it would "Encourage Car use"

I must admit, that not only is the street parking a bit of an inconvenience, it's also a bit of a worry. Sometimes I have to wonder how a Fire Engine would ever get to some parts of the estate if it needed to in a hurry.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 11:56 PM   #246
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Bristol St where Tesco want to open should be an extension to Park central in my opinion

Agreed but a different theme, Regency designed family homes around some Cheltenham style sqaures and crescents would probably be very popular
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Old December 5th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blahblahv2 View Post
I don't think the anti car bias in planning helps either. New Build estates are built to "discourage" car use by having single garages, small drives and roads which are so narrow that cars can only park on one side. What it ends up doing, is discouraging people who need cars from buying them in the first place. I know this, cos we live on a new build.
Thats not planning and in no way true. In Birmingham there is a 1 space policy for 2 bed houses, 2 space policy for 3+ beds which does not include garages either as no one uses them. Minimum drives are about 1m in length. Road wedith and design are based on a document called Manual for Streets which reduces road width to reduce car speeds to make it safer. If anything it is market forces which reduce spaces to fit more houses on the site and justify it by saying the spaces are not needed as there is good public transport i.e a bus stop within 800m.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 06:02 AM   #248
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This is true.

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Are there any housing estates that have underground parking? maybe this is the way forward to have a basement level below the estates with decent amounts of parking
Underground car parks are incredibly expensive to construct - not just because of the direct construction costs but also because of all the soil that has to be removed from site, which means the developer pays a significant amount of landfill tax.

Plus then there's all the arguments for restricting car capacity on estates which would spark another shitstorm of an argument on this thread so I'll just leave it here.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 08:59 PM   #249
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Quote:
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Thats not planning and in no way true. In Birmingham there is a 1 space policy for 2 bed houses, 2 space policy for 3+ beds which does not include garages either as no one uses them. Minimum drives are about 1m in length. Road wedith and design are based on a document called Manual for Streets which reduces road width to reduce car speeds to make it safer. If anything it is market forces which reduce spaces to fit more houses on the site and justify it by saying the spaces are not needed as there is good public transport i.e a bus stop within 800m.
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This is true.

Plus then there's all the arguments for restricting car capacity on estates which would spark another shitstorm of an argument on this thread so I'll just leave it here.
Interesting.... Considering I was told that discouraging car use was part of planning policy by a councillor!

And people on the most recently built estates don't use Garages because cars don't fit in them! I can only put our car in our garage and get out of it if I reverse in at slight angle! And it's only a Clio.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 12:57 PM   #250
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the best example you can pick is Daimler 'Green' in Coventry.. No one could fit their cars onto the road.. Everyone needs a car their because they all work away from Coventry..... So nearly every single household built a driveway in their front Garden...
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Old December 8th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #251
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Strange...................... I'm sure I came on to the Snowhill Phase 3 site, ........everyone seems to be talking about housing.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 11:00 PM   #252
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Interesting.... Considering I was told that discouraging car use was part of planning policy by a councillor!

And people on the most recently built estates don't use Garages because cars don't fit in them! I can only put our car in our garage and get out of it if I reverse in at slight angle! And it's only a Clio.
Discouraging car use by promoting development near transport nodes. Not by reducing the spaces you have to park. Futhermore, have you been to a planning committee? That will show you how much councillors know about planning. Virtually nothing. They pass permissions to get votes mainly. If a good scheme in their area comes about that is needed but people don't like it they will vote against it to get votes. Also some of the debate in committee have nothing to do with planning... it is ludicrous.

If anyone is to blame it is the developers. And that is the same for this scheme i'm afraid. What is different here though is that this is a city centre location and the council should have more teeth. However, the developer will try to reduce spend and increase profit where it can. A development like this maybe the only way the site is viable.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 09:54 PM   #253
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Monument to credit crunch could finally rise from the ashes
By Cillian O'BrienDec 21 2012


CGI of Three Snowhill, after work ground to a halt and the doomed Westin Hotel plan


Fresh hopes for a key gateway development in Birmingham have been raised with new plans submitted for a site once earmarked for the city’s first five-star hotel.

Irish developer Ballymore has presented blueprints to Birmingham City Council to build a 15-storey commercial development at Three Snowhill.

The new proposals offer 250,000 sq ft of office floorspace and include 56,000 sq ft of leisure and conference space, as well as 13,000 sq ft of shops and restaurants and 180 parking spaces.

The Sidell Gibson-designed scheme will be the tallest of the three Snowhill offices.


Snowhill was always meant to be a three-phase mixed-use scheme. Spawned in the mid-noughties at the height of the commercial property boom, it promised to deliver more than half-a-million square feet of the “best quality office space” the city had seen, apartments – and a Westin hotel.

But as One Snowhill’s occupiers made themselves at home, work came to a grinding halt on phases two and three, with just the concrete cores left standing as a monument to the credit crunch.

The concrete core for Three Snowhill stood exposed to the elements for a number of years and was eventually covered from public view by an enormous advertising hoarding.

Although permission had been given for a residential and hotel scheme in phase three, resale values for the apartments would have to rise to about £500 per sq ft for it to stack up for Ballymore. In reality it was closer to £250 last year.

This time work on the new building will not begin until a pre-let is secured, which Ballymore hopes will be in the next 18 months.

Richard Probert, project director at Ballymore, said nobody was building speculatively at the moment but the company hoped to cash in on a “chronic shortage” of grade A office space which he said was looming in Birmingham. “It’s a fresh application for a totally different scheme,” he said.

“No one is willing to commit that far in advance. But we expect confidence to return into 2013-14 through to 2019.

“We would like the opportunity to build at this gateway site as it’s very important to Birmingham.”

One Snowhill was completed in 2009 and sold by Commerz Real for £124 million – a 6.25 per cent yield.

The 300,000 sq ft Two Snowhill is due to open in January 2013, a years late, and crucially includes a 250,000 sq ft pre-let to law firm Wragge & Co.

While there is a dwindling stock of Grade A in the city, Mr Probert said he believed it would be some time before there was more brought to the market over and above Two Snowhill.

“The hotel was a make weight – a nice to have – but it is making the residential work that is the issue,” he added.

“The quality that we build, which are 20 to 25 per cent above most, would need a rise in market of 50 per cent to justify it and I can’t see it.”

It has been a long journey for Mr Probert and Ballymore as they have navigated through the worst conditions for the commercial property market in living memory but the project is now back on track and set to provide a phenomenal gateway into the city when it is complete.
Read More http://www.birminghampost.net/birmin...#ixzz2Fia0uCWz
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Old December 29th, 2012, 01:02 AM   #254
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It looked this evening as if the billboard/facade thingy was being taken down, not only had the adverts been taken down, but so had all the surrounding covering, just the frame remained
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Old December 29th, 2012, 04:03 PM   #255
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Landscaping!!
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Old January 4th, 2013, 01:27 PM   #256
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Landscaping!!

There was an application a few months back I beleive to knock back the height of the cores and provide some temporary landscaping of some kind, but retaining the foundations for future development
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Old January 4th, 2013, 09:27 PM   #257
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It looks like they could be knocking the cores down soon they were removing the last of the advertising hoarding steelwork today. It might be nicer for the tenants of the new building without looking out on that rusty mess.
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Old January 4th, 2013, 09:27 PM   #258
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I wasn't saying it would mean V Tower will happen now, but it certainly helps projects like V Tower and Regal etc. that one of its competition for city centre apartment towers has changed use to office

certainly it wont go ahead in the near future but I think it stands a chance in the long term, the developer is committed to eventually getting it built and needs to for its scheme to make them a profit.

Arena Central as a whole has already had extra office space added to it, its unlikely they will be able to get even more office space proposed for the land, especially with the competing schemes. I think the site is more suited for apartments than snowhill aswel as its more on the leisure side of the city rather than the business side.

No doubt it probably will be scaled back, but thats because there just isn't the demand there, thats what got us in the financial problems were in in the first place. Id much rather have a decent building that is used than one that is dead because they cant shift the apartments or just an empty plot for years and years for nothing to come

The Tall buildings will eventually come, when there is enough demand
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Old January 4th, 2013, 09:29 PM   #259
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It looks like they could be knocking the cores down soon they were removing the last of the advertising hoarding steelwork today. It might be nicer for the tenants of the new building without looking out on that rusty mess.
Yeah it was apparently one of the funding agreements on phase 2 that the final phase would either resume construction or be tidied up in time for the opening of the building
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Old February 1st, 2013, 10:35 AM   #260
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