Located to the north of Birmingham city centre, Kingstanding is a busy suburban centre that was largely built in the interwar period as an ambitious council housing development centred on the local centre of Kingstanding Circle, which meets the area’s shopping and commercial needs.
Close to the circle, a plot of land had previously been occupied by a community centre that was no longer in use, and planning permission was initially given for a development of 12 houses with gardens, landscaping and access roads, meeting Birmingham City’s councils brownfield development initiatives on a site in the suburbs. I
n the end, our client was looking to maximise their investment and create a scheme of apartments, more appropriate to the denser setting of the local centre, and came to us to redesign and resubmit the plans for a more extensive brownfield development.
The building approved was a three-storey contemporary-styled apartment block with 30 one- and two-bedroom homes, with floor-to-ceiling windows with juliet balconies in most apartments as is often seen in denser schemes. The apartments were designed for smaller families and couples, helping to meet local demand for this kind of housing.
Although the height of the building avoided dominating the local landscape, our design allowed for amenity space around the block, which integrated better into the existing park to the south and avoided overshadowing the gardens of the houses around the site.
An apartment block also allowed for more parking spaces for the residents and better access for facilities, in addition to the already excellent public transport links to the the city centre and other suburban centres.
Brownfield development is an important part of larger cities meeting their housing needs, and is a growing trend in planning, especially in suburban and regional centres like Kingstanding, where denser housing is appropriate. Lapworth Architects have extensive experience in this particular area of architecture and planning, so if you have a city plot you want to develop, come to us and see how we can help you get the most from yours assets.