Architect HOK’s student village in Birmingham is on hold after a legal challenge was launched into its construction.

The Curzon Gateway scheme in Eastside has been held up after lawyers acting for a chemical factory next door to the proposed site successfully applied for a judicial review.

The MacDermid metal finishing plant has argued that Birmingham council, which is backing the scheme, failed to pay enough attention to a report by the Health and Safety Executive.

This report expressed concern over building residential accommodation near a facility for storing toxic chemicals.

MacDermid said occupants of the flats would be at risk in an emergency. Last year homes close to the factory had to be evacuated after a chemical accident.

The student village would provide 260 flats, shops, bars and apartments. The council granted approval in January, despite the HSE’s advice that the application be considered at a public inquiry and then passed to the deputy prime minister.

The judicial review will be heard in July.

Peter Stretton, project consultant for developer the Eastside Partnership, said the delay could last until the end of the year. “We would expect it be resolved,” he said. He added that the scheme could create up to 5000 jobs.