Major vision for Birmingham’s future divides opinion amid ‘missed opportunity for Station Street’

A dramatic vision of Birmingham’s future over the next two decades has divided opinion amid a “missed opportunity for Station Street”. The hugely ambitious strategy was recently published by the city council (BCC) which sets out how Brum could be a greener city with better transport options, a wider range of job opportunities and higher quality housing by in 2045.

The Central Birmingham Framework 2045 also suggests that Birmingham could rival Vienna in terms of green space and Copenhagen in terms of active travel routes by that year. While future developments are subject to planning, the framework aims to shape such development in central Birmingham and guide future developments following its adoption today (May 14).

Part of Birmingham city center and nearby areas could therefore be almost unrecognizable in twenty years or so if the council’s grand vision comes to fruition. However, the strategy drew criticism at Tuesday’s council cabinet meeting for its lack of reference to Strada Station, home to venues such as the Electric Cinema.

READ MORE: Three dramatic ways Birmingham city center could be transformed by 2045 as major vision unveiled

Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne recently backed the high-profile campaign to save the street, joining Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and Succession star Brian Cox. At the meeting, BCC Tory leader Robert Alden described the strategy as a “missed opportunity”, arguing: “There is a real concern about the risk of (Station Street) being demolished and replaced with irregular, generic tower blocks.

“There is nothing in this document about protecting it.” He added: “The reality is (the framework) is very unlikely to be delivered anyway, frankly when you look at the council’s record on delivery,

Council leader John Cotton reflected on Birmingham’s dramatic transformation from a city that was once built of “concrete and underground passages”. “I think we need to be just as ambitious about the future of the city in the next 20 years,” he said.

“This key point is about how we extend this to neighborhoods that are in desperate need of regeneration and opportunity.” Taking to Station Street, he argued that a “revised heritage policy” helped address these concerns alongside “strengthening the heritage narrative” in the 2045 strategy.