Pebble Mill's scientific future

Building Design has reported that Studio Egret West bid wins science park after the practice beat other architects including MAKE to masterplan the site of the former BBC studios and offices at Pebble Mill in Birmingham.

The £90 million science park on 10ha site will be masterplanned for Calthorpe Estates. Outline planning permission for the park was approved in 2003 including a 15,240sq m laboratory and office complex with an indicative masterplan provided and approval for phased implementation of the scheme over 10 years.

Application number

Date application received

Date application registered

Decision Made

Pebble Mill Road / Pershore Road / Bristol Road, Edgbaston - former Pebble Mill Studios,

Section 73 application to vary and remove B & C conditions of S/00992/03/OUT to allow for phased implementation for up to 10 years of outline planning permission for construction of technology and science park with revised accesses on Bristol Road and Pebble Mill Road and reconfigured sporting facilities.

An illustrative perspective diagram from the planning application is shown below:

As part of the application there is a principle to maintain the sporting provision and the opportunities to develop the existing sports pitches located within the development site site. The following, taken from the Planning Committee report of the 14th August 2008 highlights these principles.

Sporting Provision
As per the illustrative site plans submitted with the two applications, playing fields are retained on the corner of Bristol Road/Eastern Road and to the south of the Bourn Brook. The applicant is currently working with the City Council, the University of Birmingham and Sport England, to agree in due course the exact type and arrangement of sports pitches to be provided, and this matter is controlled by a separate condition.

Indicative images of a development option are shown below together with the heights of prospective blocks.

Studio Egret West was formed by Christophe Egret and David West. The practice has worked on a number of diverse projects such as remodelling Highbury Corner on the A1 in London and new uses for the Maze Prison site together with Nottingham Science park which provides a useful insight into how they might look at the Pebble Mill site.

The following images from the practice's website of the Nottingham Science Park reveal how Egret West offer potentially exciting opportunities for Pebble Mill.

Images reproduced from

Ralph Minott, director of development at Calthorpe Estates, said Studio Egret West had won the masterplan over its rivals because it “considered in the greatest detail” how to deliver the park, adding that other architects could be brought on board to design individual buildings on site.

“Calthorpe Estates was particularly impressed with Studio Egret West’s interpretation of our vision,” said Minott.

Studio Egret West partner David West said: “We look forward to amplifying the luscious attributes of the Edgbaston landscape within the science park and to working closely with potential occupiers to create an exemplar modern science park.”

Initial plans for the redevelopment are set to be presented to Birmingham Council next month.


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