‘Impressive’ landmark HS2 Curzon Street station approved
Birmingham’s ‘impressive’ Curzon Street station is the first HS2 station in the UK to get planning approval after councillors voted unanimously for it.
The city council’s planning committee approved three planning applications for the £571 million station and surrounding landscaping at its first virtual meeting today.
The station is intended to eventually link London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds with a new “Y”-shaped network of tracks for 225mph trains as part of the £106 billion national project.
The designs by WSP and Grimshaw Architects were praised by councillors, though queries were raised around taxi parking, separation between cycle path and pedestrian areas and disabled access.
The station will include seven platforms and a main entrance facing the city centre comprising a “gigantic” sheer wall of glass of up to 17m in height and 69m wide.
The design for the main building features an arched roof clad in metal panels and supported by large buttresses for the western part.
The total site area is 55,250 square metres and stands next to the existing Moor Street Station.
A planning report stated the station is on target to achieve a net zero carbon building through the use of air source heat pumps, LED lighting and photovoltaic panels.
The plans also include areas around the station including the 80m by 100m Station Square, which will include large trees.
Speaking about taxi parking, committee member Councillor Gareth Moore said: “We need to make sure we have sufficient arrangements in place, particularly for taxis. I know it’s a big problem for Birmingham New Street station.”
In reference to separation between cycle paths and pedestrian areas outside the station, he added: “We need clarification we are seeing that pedestrian safety is being maintained as part of the application.”
Councillor Lou Robson said: “Design is not just how it looks, which from the drawing is very impressive. It’s also part of function.
“At a previous meeting we have raised quite a lot of points about access for people with disabilities, not just people with visible disabilities.
“I am a bit concerned some of that hasn’t been taken into account.”
Addressing these points, planning officer Nick Jackson said although taxi parking was not available on the western concourse, passengers would be directed to the eastern concourse.
He added the council was “confident in terms of pedestrian safety” and that the station included lifts for accessibility.
Matthew Botelle, HS2’s stations director said after the meeting: “We’re extremely pleased to receive planning approval for HS2’s Curzon Street station in Birmingham.
“Eco-friendly innovations are a fundamental part of our plans, with the station designed to achieve zero carbon emissions from day-to-day energy consumption.
“This makes it highly efficient by generating energy through a range of different technologies to maximise natural resources such as sunlight and water.”