Where will all the buses go ? Birmingham Central Bus Garage
A planning application is on Birmingham’s website for the demolition of the bus garage on Liverpool street and replacement by 2904 residential units. The principle is variously described and illustrated on the Skyscraper City website here : https://www.skyscrapercity.com/threads/former-birmingham-central-bus-garage-adderley-street-major-mixed-use-redevelopment.2225498/page-2
The proponents of the scheme extol the location on the canalside and straddling Adderley Street that is scheduled to be a new street tram route. The artists’ impressions show that flat roofs would be green roofs (beneficial to flash run off and to wildlife) with some solar panels. Some of the brickwork frontage from the bus garage (opened 1936) would be incorporated in the new development giving a nod to the previous land use.
The site lies outside the Digbeth, Deritend and Bordesley conservation area though the tallest building proposed, at 24 storeys (part of a later application), would have some impact on that area.
An aspect that detracts from the proposal is the insistence on retaining the existing solidly paved street scene with back of footway being formed by vertical wall. Likewise all public space is shown as hard paved. There is almost no space even for small trees. This is a harsh environment that if softened, for instance by incorporation of hedges and grass surface, could attract a degree of wildlife. Does the old brickwork need to be retained, or should we look forward ? Even the roads that pass through, for instance Adderley Street that is marked for a future tram route could be permeable (blocks and grass as done at Snow Hill). Many people now work from home, and greenery will be good for them. This is likely to be home to more than 4000 people. There is no park here, yet there is a lot of cleared land (including the adjacent skip site). A park needs to be one of the outcomes of a transformed area.
This could be the start of a new trend of energy efficient and green infrastructure. You can comment on the application at https://eplanning.birmingham.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/Generic/StdDetails.aspx?PT=Planning%20Applications%20On-Line&TYPE=PL/PlanningPK.xml&PARAM0=1070474&XSLT=/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/Birmingham/xslt/PL/PLDetails.xslt&FT=Planning%20Application%20Details&PUBLIC=Y&XMLSIDE=/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/Birmingham/Menus/PL.xml&DAURI=PLANNING
Does still leave the question, if the garage is to be demolished, where do the buses go ?