Plans submitted for Gather & Soul co-living scheme

CBRE submits planning on behalf of GNM Development Ltd for Gather & Soul, a new co-living development on Gas Street in Birmingham.

Artist’s impression of the Gather & Soul co-living scheme | BTR News
Artist’s impression of the Gather & Soul co-living scheme. Image credit: Broadway Malyan.

Plans for a new co-living scheme have been submitted by CBRE on behalf of Birmingham-based property developer – GNM Development Ltd, to Birmingham City Council. Referred to as Gather & Soul, the name resonates with Gas Street’s tradition of welcoming and inclusive establishments.

The proposals include the demolition of the former factory and stable buildings to make way for a new purpose-built co-living development, alongside the conversion of the former Toll House.

Designed by international architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan, proposals include the delivery of 161 ensuite co-living apartments ranging from 25 sqm to 31 sqm, alongside amenity and ancillary space. Of the co-living apartments, four will be housed within the Toll House which will be refurbished and restored as part of the development.

The plans for Gather & Soul include 820sqm of shared amenity spaces to provide a social lounge, co-working space, quiet lounge, games spaces, gym and flexible space at ground levels, activating the street and canal tow path. The scheme would also deliver c. 560sqm of external amenity space on the rooftops of the buildings.

Canal view of the Gather & Soul co-living scheme | BTR News
Canal view of the Gather & Soul co-living scheme. Image credit: Broadway Malyan.

Support facilities include a reception/concierge, post room, parcel drop space, laundry room and 100 secure cycle spaces. Residents would also benefit from the site’s location which is adjacent to the canal – providing easy access to the canal network throughout and beyond the city for walking and cycling.

The new Gather & Soul co-living development is proposed in two distinct heights which step up in scale from the Toll House. The middle block acts as a transition to the taller building to the southeast corner of the site.

The taller building is proposed in a red/brown material palette which reflects the industrial and brick heritage of the area. The lower levels of the block will reuse the red and blue bricks that make up the current buildings on the site. The smaller new block is proposed in a green but contrasting palette. The different colouring reinforces visual separation and identity.

Artist’s impression of the co-living scheme with a new pedestrian canal:street link | BTR News
Artist’s impression of the co-living scheme with a new pedestrian canal:street link. Image credit: Broadway Malyan.

Taking a fabric first holistic approach to the development, the sustainability strategy is based on an all-electric scheme with solar PV, very high-performance fabric U values, highly efficient ventilation with heat recovery, and hot water storage with very low standing losses.

Located between Gas Street and the Birmingham Canal Old Lane/Canal Basin within Birmingham City centre, the site is 185 metres from Broad Street. The location offers residents a frequent bus and tram service out of the city and access to two major transport hubs, including New Street Train Station which is a 14-minute walk or 16 minutes cycle.

“At Gather & Soul, we are creating a community where the pulse of Gas Street thrives. Our diverse living spaces and inclusive events celebrate the legacy of this neighbourhood, and our interconnected common areas overlook the scenic canals, paying homage to the very waterways that define Gas Street. This is Gather & Soul, a name that encapsulates our commitment to inclusivity, personal growth and deep connections.”

From the design and access statement filed with Birmingham City Council
The Gas Street site | BTR News
The Gas Street site. Image credit: Broadway Malyan.

Since 2016, the Gas Street site has been subject to several different schemes and pre application enquiries. GNM Developments Ltd acquired the site in July 2023, and since, Broadway Malyan have reviewed previous proposals and developed a co-living scheme.

A pre application enquiry was submitted to Birmingham City Council in October 2023, with the first pre application meeting held on 4 December 2023, followed by a workshop on 20 February 2024. A public consultation followed from 23 April until 7 May 2024 before planning was submitted.

The wider Gather & Soul project team includes Donald Insall Associates as heritage consultants, Syntegral for MEP engineering, energy and sustainability, HSP Consulting for structural and civil engineering, Bea Landscape Design Ltd and Orion Fire.