What are the Calthorpe Estates?
The Calthorpe Estates cover a large, 1,600-acre area of Birmingham, centred on the suburb of Edgbaston. In the 18th century, as the city grew in importance, the landowner Baron Calthorpe wanted to maintain an attractively low density suburb close to the growing town. He did so by leasing the land with covenants that forbade dense land development and stipulated minimum amounts to be spent on building properties to make sure construction quality was high.
Since then, Estate has been carefully managed to ensure a high standard of architecture and appropriate town planning and development to preserve the attractive nature of the area. These efforts have made Edgbaston one of the best areas of the country to live and work in.
What do the Calthorpe Estates do?
Thanks to the work of Calthorpe Estates, Edgbaston is known as being a verdant, low-density suburb close to the centre of Birmingham with cohesive and attractive architecture. In the post-war years there was a movement to increase the density of the residential areas close to the city centre to absorb the growing population.
However, as the freeholder for a large part of the suburb, Calthorpe Estates were reluctant to alter the character of the area, and so created a few strategic sites of high rise residential projects along with further housing developments to infill bomb sites, to meet the demand. Meeting this demand is done with careful design and a concentration of projects such as Edgbaston Village and the redevelopment of Pebble Mill.
Much like in any other urban conservation area, building or developing on Calthorpe Estates land is certainly possible (and we have worked on dozens of projects in the area – take a look at our project map) but does require architects experienced in top-quality design and the Estate’s stringent development guidelines, as all building works require Calthorpe Estates’ written consent under the Residents’ Scheme of Management.
How can I build or extend on the Calthorpe Estates?
Given the special nature of the area, Calthorpe Estates are keen for any redevelopment work to preserve and improve the architectural quality of the affected property and while they are not averse to change, they do expect a competent architect experienced in working with the Estates to be involved.
In addition, Calthorpe Estates recommend contacting their agents, Mainstay, as well as Birmingham City Council Planning Department to discuss development proposals informally before making a formal application, as this usually saves time, effort and cost by highlighting specific or material matters.
Our experience has shown that involving an architect at an early stage is an effective and instructive early step that helps shape the project and avoids conflict and rejection by either Birmingham City Council or Calthorpe Estates.
How can I get building consent on the Calthorpe Estates?
As experts in restoration and heritage projects, Lapworth Architects have frequently worked with Calthorpe Estates on multiple projects in Edgbaston on Highfield Road, George Road and Hagley Road, as well as on the refurbishment of Simpsons restaurant, and on several conversion projects in the area.
With our long-standing working relationship, we have also designed several new build houses in Edgbaston, making the most of Calthorpe’s guidelines on improving the character and appearance of the Estate to create handsome family homes. Our work with Estates means that we are experts in heritage architecture sympathetic to the existing buildings, and also have professional experience of the complex planning issues that come with such a prestigious area.
If you are looking to extend your home or create a new build project on the Calthorpe Estates, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us to book a free consultation or to discuss your project informally. Together, Lapworth and Calthorpe are ensuring the economic vitality of Edgbaston and the surrounding areas by preserving and futureproofing its unique architecture, urban design and character.
Call us on 0121 455 0032 today to book your
We are award-winning architects working across the entire West Midlands to help you at every step of the process, whether you’re needing an extension, developing land or designing a new build house.
– Sutton Coldfield