Masshouse Developments has submitted a planning application for an £81m Magistrates’ Court for Birmingham city centre.

The 221,000 sq ft building, designed by Stirling prize nominated architect Denton Corker Marshall, will anchor Masshouse’s new £500m Moor Street Queensway development.

It will house 24 court rooms over 13 storeys and work is expected to get underway on the project before the end of 2009, with work scheduled for the end of 2012.

Nick Payne, chairman of Masshouse Developments, said: 'The announcement by Her Majesty’s Courts Service is the result of a huge amount of work and commitment, which is driving forward the Masshouse scheme. The plans for the Magistrates’ Court emphasise the world class architecture that is coming to Birmingham and act as a beacon for Masshouse and Eastside.’

The new court building will replace the existing Magistrates’ Court in the listed Victorian Law Courts, which will also be refurbished.

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: ‘The new Magistrates’ Court will play a crucial role in a successful and prosperous future for Masshouse and Eastside.

This new court building will not only raise the bar for the standard of architecture seen elsewhere in the city, but its delivery will also bring significant change to the immediate area.

‘In and around Masshouse, there is likely to be a rise in demand for office space among legal practices and supporting services; and the sharp increase in footfall in this area will also help to support amenities such as convenience stores, cafes and restaurants. It is therefore very exciting to see this project moving considerably closer to fruition.’

Masshouse Developments has already committed around £50m to the scheme, delivering 350 apartments and retail and leisure. Phase II of Masshouse will include office, retail and hotel accommodation.