The memo below shows that the Pebble Mill site was identified as suitable for the BBC as early as 1948. The Controller of Midland Region, H.J. Dunkerley had visited various sites around Birmingham, including one on the Hagley Road, but the Pershore Road site had the most promise. It is strange to think that it would be 23 years until the building actually opened!
Controller, Midland Region 9th November 1948
SITE FOR REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS
Civil Engineer Copies to: D.A., The Solicitor
As you will see from a note which M.R.Ex. is sending you, there is now every indication that there should be no major difficulties in the way of our securing the Pershore Road site in Birmingham which you inspected a few weeks ago. Since you were here I have seen it myself, and agree with your estimate of it. It is well placed on a corner site about two miles from the city centre and easily accessible. The total area of the site is about 7 and a half acres. It is situated in a good-class residential neighbourhood and is not far from the University, which is another favourable factor. We have still to hear from the Edgbaston Estates as to terms, but we do no anticipate any difficulty in that direction. As regards the Birmingham Corporation, it was at their instance that we investigated this site as an alternative to the Hagley Road West area where they did not favour our going. I trust therefore that we can go forward at an early date with firm arrangements for securing the Pershore Road site. Please let me know if there is anything more we can do at this end to help matters along.
23 years to achieve something is not a long time in BBC terms. After the broadcast of the “Illumination of the Fleet” which could not be cut because there were no facilities for doing so, it took several years and a World War to get Continuity Operation working!