Birmingham’s first co-living scheme, The James Birmingham, secures planning permission

April 02, 2024

Richmond House, a former university building in Birmingham city centre, will now be transformed into a new co-living complex of studio apartments named The James Birmingham, after planning permission was granted by Birmingham City Council on Wednesday 20th March 2024. The 67,000 sq ft, seven-storey building was once the home of University College Birmingham, but teaching stopped there in autumn 2021.

The new co-living scheme from real estate developers and operators, The James, is the first of its kind to be approved by Birmingham City Council. It will see 150 apartments built as part of a change of use aimed at providing a luxury co-living space for postgraduate students and young professionals working in the area, typically between the ages of 18-35. This demographic is attracted to a professionally managed product that is close to city centre attractions and job opportunities.

The proposals also include a two-storey rooftop extension and shared facilities such as communal kitchen and dining areas, podcast studio and work lounge, gym, games room, cinema, external terrace and socialising area. In a drive to put sustainability at the forefront, air source heat pumps will be used throughout the building. Due to its city centre location, there will be no parking spaces for cars but there will be space for up to 166 bikes.

Create were appointed to cover the roles of Acoustics, Air Quality, Flood Risk, and Sustainability Consultant, working as part of a project team comprised of RPS (Planning Consultant), Bond Bryan (Architect), Focus TP (Transport Planners) and CHP Surveyors (Daylight/Sunlight Surveyor). Together we have been providing a variety of technical services to support the compilation of a robust planning application.

To date Create has provided an Air Quality Assessment, Acoustic Assessment, Overheating Assessment, Energy and Sustainability Assessment, and a Surface Water Drainage Strategy. With planning permission secured, we continue to work alongside the design team to discharge the remaining planning conditions and further develop the drainage strategy.

“This approval marks a significant milestone in The James’ mission to redefine modern living experiences while fostering vibrant communities in all of the major cities across the UK and we look forward to bringing the development to fruition.”

Grant Sulkin, Co-Founder at The James

Bond Bryan Architects Ltd
Bond Bryan Architects Ltd