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HS2’s Washwood Heath Depot secures planning approval

Birmingham City Council has today approved our designs for the nerve-centre of the future HS2 network, including the Maintenance Building, Network Integrated Control Centre, and Cleaners and Drivers Building.

Partner at Howells, Alan McCartney, said: “The Washwood Heath Depot is a true asset for the region, bringing the heart of the HS2 network to Birmingham. Investment in job creation and aspirational standards of sustainable design have guided the development of the architecture and integrated railway infrastructure. Elegant industrial buildings are set within a heathland landscape with staff safety, wellness and operational efficiency at the core of each building’s design.

“It is incredible to see the transformation of the site, which has always been part of the UK’s railway history, and we look forward to the next stages of creating the operational heart of the HS2 railway network.”

The design of the buildings provides for a high level of controlled, natural lighting and reduces the need for artificial lighting during the daytime. Solar roof panels, reusing rainwater runoff from some of the building roofs, sustainable drainage, renewable energy, low carbon materials and intelligent lighting provide additional environmental benefits during construction and operation.

Accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists has been incorporated into the design, with dedicated pedestrian and cyclist routes connecting with Birmingham’s future transport network. In addition to car parks, provision is included for electric vehicle charging points, cycle and motorcycle parking for staff and visitors, and parking for individuals with limited mobility.

Work on site to date includes demolition of buildings and groundworks to prepare the site for the construction of the new Depot and Control Centre.

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