Council approves 481-home scheme after ‘a compromise’ over affordable housing provision

Clyde Street Digbeth

A CGI of what the Latimer development at Clyde Street, Digbeth will look like

Assael Architecture has been given the green light for a 34-storey tower and a 10-storey block in Digbeth, central Birmingham.

The 481-home scheme has been designed for Latimer Developments, a subsidiary of housing association Clarion and will see the demolition of an existing storage warehouse on the site.

The scheme was approved after the decision was postponed at Birmingham council’s planning committee meeting on 14 Marchdue to concerns raised regarding the lack of affordable housing in the section 106 agreement.

After conducting a viability assessment, Latimer indicated that it would not be able to include any affordable housing in the legal agreement.

An independent assessor at the council evaluated Latimer’s viability assessment and deemed this to be a reasonable conclusion.

However, Latimer as a compromise has pledged to aim for 56% of units as affordable accommodation outside of the legal agreement. 

Councillor Lee Marsham referred to the agreement on affordable housing provision as “a compromise that semi-protects the council”.

He said that while Latimer’s affordable housing commitment isn’t contained in any legally binding written agreement, the council should name and shame the developer if they don’t follow through on the commitment to deliver affordable housing.

He added: “They [the developer] should be really discouraged from doing future work with the council if they don’t follow through”.

Other firms working on the scheme’s project team include cost consultant Arcadis, planning consultant DPP, landscape architect Exterior Architecture, noise consultant Cundall and heritage consultant Ridgeway Heritage.