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RPS secures planning permission for the first co-living development in Birmingham

We’re delighted to announce that we have successfully obtained planning permission for Richmond House, marking Birmingham’s first venture into co-living spaces.

27 March 2024 | 2 min read

Spearheaded by our client, The James, a leading developer in communal living initiatives, the project aims to address the growing demand for affordable, community-driven housing options in Birmingham.

Co-living developments provide large-scale accommodation with shared facilities and amenities, offering an alternative to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). This marks the first project of its kind to be granted by Birmingham City Council.

Richmond House, a historic building dating back to the 1930s, occupies a prime location on Newhall Street within the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area. With its strategic positioning and excellent transport links, the development is poised to become a hub for young professionals seeking modern, shared accommodation options.

The James, renowned for its innovative approach to urban living, envisions Richmond House as a vibrant community where residents can enjoy the benefits of shared amenities and collaborative spaces. The development will feature 150 purpose-built rental apartments, each meticulously designed to cater to the needs of its residents.

Key features of the Richmond House development include a spacious lounge for social gatherings, outdoor terrace, co-working space with high-speed internet, gym, cinema room, podcasting studio, and games room.

The development aims to retain local talent and address the city's 'brain drain' phenomenon, where nearly half of Birmingham's graduates leave the city after completing their studies. By providing attractive living spaces tailored to the needs of young professionals, Richmond House aims to create a compelling reason for individuals to stay and contribute to Birmingham's vibrant community.

As well as serving as Planning Consultant on behalf of The James, we also provided Heritage and Ecology services.

Richmond House will offer residents a dynamic, inclusive and safe environment where they can live, work, and connect with like-minded individuals. As co-living continues to gain momentum as a viable housing solution, Richmond House stands as a testament to Birmingham's commitment to embracing progressive urban development initiatives.

Jacob Bonehill, Associate Director – Planning at RPS, commented: “I’m very proud our Planning team have secured the first planning permission for a great client in this important new sector of the housing market in Birmingham. It was a pleasure to work collaboratively with the Council’s officers, particularly given that this type of development offers a genuine high-quality alternative to traditional houses in multiple occupation.”

Grant Sulkin, Co-Founder at The James, commented:

“This approval marks a significant milestone in The James’ mission to redefine modern living experiences while fostering vibrant communities in all of the major cities across the UK and we look forward to bringing the development to fruition.”