Birmingham City Council has approved revised plans for English Premier League football club Aston Villa’s stadium expansion scheme.
According to Building.co.uk, the Council has given the green light to altered plans that were first revealed last month. In July, Villa initially unveiled updated plans to redevelop the North Stand at Villa Park, with a series of amendments submitted as part of a revised planning application to the Council.
The amendments included minor changes to the North Stand itself, along with new plans for the club’s existing academy building. Villa said it was also continuing to explore “exciting and dynamic” concepts across the stadium site, in addition to other functional buildings and spaces on the footprint of Villa Park.
The redevelopment will increase the capacity of Villa Park to over 50,000, with the club hoping to transform the stadium into a “world-class” entertainment venue capable of hosting international sports tournaments and other events.
In December, Villa was granted permission by Birmingham City Council for the first phase of its redevelopment and expansion of Villa Park. As well as a brand-new North Stand, Villa is planning enhancements to the existing Trinity Stand and the creation of Villa Live, a new 6,500-square-metre multi-purpose commercial destination to replace the existing shop, building and security lodge.
The first phase of the development, anticipated for completion by 2025, will see approximately 7,400 seats added to the stadium’s current capacity of 42,785. The amendments detailed last month concern the North Stand project itself, but focus on repositioning other components, chiefly the Villa Live element.
Villa Live has been put on the backburner, with the club now looking to repurpose an existing building currently containing the Stumps Academy to house a multi-purpose community and entertainment space, which will be named The Warehouse.
The Council has approved Grimshaw-designed plans to alter the North Stand redevelopment by adding a new internal mezzanine level containing a shop, ticket office, “heritage experience” and enhanced food and beverage offering.
Villa’s town planning and transport consultant, WSP, said the club has decided to alter the timeline for the scheme by choosing to first focus on the North Stand work, before returning to Villa Live at a later date.
The drawing up of The Warehouse offering is designed to provides key elements of Villa Live, but on an interim basis. The Stumps Academy building will be revamped to contain a flexible event floor, food and drink courtyard and micro-brewery, connected to a “multi-use games area” and office space for club staff.
The building’s capacity will be for 2,500 fans and it will be open seven days a week. “In short, the planning strategy has been reworked to ensure that the North Stand can come forward for development immediately, and that the refurbishment of the Stumps Academy building, and car park would be a ‘meanwhile use’,” WSP said.
“This scenario will allow the future delivery of Villa Live and the completion of the original consented scheme in the future.”