Save Smallbrook

by Save Smallbrook in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Total raised £4,640

£15,000 target 35 days left
30% 99 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 4th July 2024 at 10:00pm

Help us save Smallbrook Ringway Centre!

by Save Smallbrook in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom


   - Kevin McCloud - January 2024


Fighting for Birmingham’s heritage, net zero carbon and local democracy

Brutiful Birmingham, Zero Carbon House, Birmingham Modernist, Twentieth Century Society and Birmingham Fair Housing Campaign


Help us save Smallbrook Ringway Centre - the sister building to our iconic Rotunda designed by the same Birmingham architect Jim Roberts. We have applied for permission to lodge a Judicial Review of the Planning Committee decision made on the 1 Feb 2024 to totally demolish the Ringway Centre and replace it with three towers (56, 48 and 44 storeys).

This is an important test case, whether or not you like the building.  Developers are being allowed free rein to trash Birmingham’s heritage and in so doing releasing huge amounts of carbon and destroying our planet. We need to use this example to show we're prepared to fight to wrest back control of our great city and stand firm against over-development for “greed not need.”

Together we have already created the biggest campaign outside of London for a C20th building and made history by challenging the initial planning decision. Our legal team believe we have a strong case and that we can win.  

Donations of £11,000 have already covered our initial legal challenges. Now we need to harness wider financial support to fund the Judicial Review. Our initial target is £15,000. 


Image by Phylis Nicklin 


So why do we think this is an important case?

  • Heritage Credentials 

Smallbrook Ringway (1962), all 750 feet, was the first part of the inner Ring Road to be completed. Its design, which accommodates both pedestrians and cars, is a beacon to the skill of the Birmingham Modernist architects who rebuilt the city after the war. 

Apart from its Local Listing status, you don’t need to believe our assessment of its importance -  here are a few opinions from the experts :





C20 Society Number 1 on the national list of BUILDINGS AT RISK


  • Zero carbon arguments


A staggering 49% of UK CO2 and 62% of UK waste come from construction - mindlessly tearing down and replacing good solid buildings like Smallbrook. Retrofit saves at least 53% embodied carbon.


The carbon calculation for demolition of the Ringway Centre and the rebuild is 187 million kilograms of CO2 which will be released into the atmosphere. This is equivalent to an average UK car driving 33,000 times around the world.



  • Local Democracy

Has anyone seriously asked Birmingham residents how they want their city to develop? The Smallbrook campaign has galvanised local opinion which is echoed by the cry of anguish about the Electric Cinema and the Crown Pub, while in Ladywood and Druids Heath people's very homes are at stake.

Brummies have lost confidence in the City Planning Department and its “City Plans” that play lip service to zero carbon objectives, heritage and housing and instead seek to woo developers.  No one is asking us for our vision of a liveable city.



This Judicial Review will be a test case for other planning decisions in Birmingham and elsewhere. It is time that Birmingham City Council stopped handing all the power to the developers and gave power back to the residents. 

Supporting our campaign will be a way to show BCC that we are serious about our city and that



Image by John Bell


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