City Park (central) to Eastside

Planners have approved the redesigned Eastside City Park and the new science garden fronting Thinktank, City centre park is magnet for £80m investment in Birmingham's Eastside, following revised plans based on reduced funding, Greening Eastside on a budget - Eastside Park II.

The park's approval, reserved matters, is crucial for attracting funding for Eastside and for encouraging families to move into the city centre providing much needed green space for children together with adding a green corridor to what will be a new city centre transport hub, if plans for the High Speed rail terminus at eastside are developed.

Director of regeneration Waheed Nazir said that the park was crucial in attracting inward investment into the area and boosting the recovery.

He said: “We have been told by developers that their investment depends on this park. It is the key piece to the Eastside jigsaw and we estimate £80 million worth of investment over the next three years.”

Work on the park will begin in May 2011 ready for a grand opening in July 2012. The park will stretch along Curzon Street and is designed to be flexible to deal with the planned High Speed 2 rail station which will be developed alongside. If plans for the High Speed station do not proceed the park will alongside plans for Birmingham City University's Eastside campus.

Details on the approved park from the planning statement that went before the planning committee are shown below:

The illustrative scheme that was shown in the outline application documents had an
estimated construction value of £18 million, requiring funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
This funding bid was however unsuccessful and therefore this proposal for reserved matters would have an estimated construction value of £10.5 million. The design has been revised and developed to meet this new budget with the original concepts and access strategy in mind.

The park would measure approximately 550m long and 50m wide and would create a series
of linked, themed, areas that would provide the following when moving from west to east:

1. Park Street Gardens - this is an existing mature landscape setting with informal rolling mounds and winding paths currently running through the site. It is predominantly soft landscaped and would provide a green space for relaxation and also would act as a link to the wider proposed park area.

2. The Serpentine garden and a link space to the potential temporary events space on the former Birmingham City University application site (not part of this application) - would extend the informal character of Park Street Gardens to the City Park Square. It would be predominantly soft landscaped with mixed planting including Juniper, ferns, large shrubs and trees eg. hydrangia, mahonia, cherry and oak.

3. City Park Square - would be a hard space forming the public square of the park and an event space, where audiences could gather on the terraces and watch performances on the level southern plaza, or the terraces could be used for special temporary market stalls or other small events. This area would be set within the formal garden.

4. The Science Garden - is subject to a separate planning application that is also on this agenda (2010/00271/PA). This site would be directly adjacent to the City Park Square and would also be set within the formal garden.

5. The Formal Garden area - would be predominantly soft landscaped with planting including Pine, Cherry, Silver Birch and ornamental grasses and rigidly structured with a linear shaped water feature and water jets.

Fazeley Street and Cardigan Street both cut across the site and would be retained. Fazeley Street would remain as existing, with two crossings that would relate to the entrances to Park Street Gardens. A new raised crossing would be added to Cardigan Street, near the northern site boundary, to improve pedestrian access and to help link the park on both sides of this road.

Images from the approved planning application for the park

Images from the accompanying planning application for the science garden


srboisvert said…
Is this intended to celebrate Birmingham's history of firearm production or its current handgun problem?
Anonymous said…
I am so pleased Birmingham City Council are trying to stay with the vision of creating this park for the future of the city overall. OK, so compromises do have to be made in view of the dire economic situation we are facing - but hey, continuation with bold development projects can only help towards eroding negative views of Birmingham that still exist and will no doubt take a few more years to overcome yet. But if the Council stays true and "on course", let me tell you that a "tipping point" is coming to the city for all to benefit from (the snowball is gonna roll!). Invest in Birmingham and the future shall be ours!!!! We are now proudly the "Second City", moreover the council knows we all have to make this count.

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