Campus clears way for 21st Century future for University of Birmingham

In August 2011 the University of Birmingham revealed plans to develop new sporting facilities at the University of Birmingham , Birmingham University To Build 50m Swimming Pool, following on from the development of it's Brammall Music Centre, Musical dome to complete Birmingham's redbrick vision.

Those plans included a new £11m 50-metre pool scheduled to open in 2014.  At 17m wide (6 lanes) it wasn't to conform to International Olympic Committee standards and would not contain diving facilities with depth at a constant 2 metres although a moveable floor allowing for sections of the pool to be made shallower to accommodate other users and specific user groups. A 400-seat spectator gallery was planned to run alongside the pool.  The plans it seemed were the death knell for the much publicised but never solidly funded proposals by the City Council for an Olympic size pool, Swimming plans for Olympic dream.

Images from the announcement of the proposals.

The plans were shortly followed in November 2011 by ambitious plans for a new £51.1 million main library,  The revelation showed a new library that would have a gross internal floor area of 14,068m²  housing 2,000 study spaces ‘in group, single study, and IT clusters’, 15km of shelving, a post-graduate hub, café and exhibition space.

Images from the announcement of November 2011.

These £175m plans have now been revealed in a new 'Hybrid planning application', 2012/02047/PA, which seeks outline planning permission for a new multi-storey car park adjacent to the Gisbert Kapp building, erection of new student residences and sports paviliion and creation of new green open space, new library and new running track.  The application also seeks full planning permission for the erection of a new sports centre, external alterations to Aston Webb C block, approval for the demolition of the Gun Barrels public house, old gym, main campus library and munrow sports centre which opened in 1963 and which includes a 25m pool (dating from 1976).  I noted the proposals for internal work in Aston Webb C block in my earlier post, Bramall dome heads towards finale.

Redevelopment of elements of the University Campus buildings and infrastructure including: 1) Outline application for; a) Extension to Grange Road car park, new multi-storey car park adjacent to Gisbert Kapp building (all matters reserved except siting), b) New bridge crossing, erection of student residences and sports pavilion (landscaping and appearance reserved), c) Creation of new green open space, erection of new library, library enabling works (comprising new vehicular route, removal of running track, new library store and ground works), new running track, erection of sports pavilion, Pritchatts Road traffic management/public realm improvements (all matters reserved), d) New access road (all matters reserved except layout); 2) Full details for; e) The erection of a new sports centre, f) Improvements to pedestrian route from the sports centre to Aston Webb C block, g) Refurbishment and alterations to Aston Webb C block, h) Extension to Pritchatts Road surface car park, i) Construction of new pedestrian/cycle route to the Vale; 3) Demolition of the Gun Barrels public house and bungalow adjacent to the South Car Park, sportex buildings, chemistry west building, the Old Gym, main campus library, substation, munrow sports centre, and partial demolition of an ex sports pavilion; 4) Associated landscaping, and temporary and new car parking. 2012/02047/PA

The five year capital programme marks the latest in a continual development of the campus over it's 100 year history but developing ideas from it's foundation such as a reinterpretation of the tree lined avenue by demolishing the current main library and creating a major new open space crossing Pritchatts road.

The following images are from the planning application showing the siting of the new library and ambitious campus redevelopment plans showing the new central square and removal of buildings and the new sports centre and pool.


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