The Flapper pub by the canal at Cambrian Wharf near the Arena may be demolished to make way for an apartment development.
Following pressure by local residents the original planning application was withdrawn last May.
A new scheme is now being proposed by the owners of the pub.
The original application 14 months ago was to demolish the Flapper and build 66 flats on the small footprint vacated comprising a three core block rising to 12 stories.
Local residents opposed the development on the grounds of aesthetics, access, inappropriate design close to Grade 2 listed housing, neglect of the community wishes etc.
Baskerville Wharf (Birmingham) Ltd, owners of the pub, withdrew the application for revision on 1 May 2017 and extended the lease arrangements for the pub to June 2018.
Will Adams, of development managers Whitehorse Estates Ltd, now appears to be in discussion with the planning department about a new scheme of 27 apartments on the same site ranging from 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats rising to a maximum effective height of 5 storeys.
Just before Christmas Mr Adams arranged a meeting with the residents of Kingston Row which is adjacent to the site and where all 6 properties are Georgian Grade 2 listed. This was to discuss his outline intentions. Residents say that the development proposals were considerably more aesthetic and sympathetic to the surroundings, but are awaiting the submission of the revised plans before making critical comment.
In the meantime, the pub continues to trade and hold music events, which residents say have little impingement on them. Nothing has been presented to the many residents of the nearby Civic Close estate.
Such developments can attract a payment to the Council under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to help fund the infrastructure, facilities and services – such as schools or transport improvements – which are needed to support new homes and businesses in the areas.
However, the levy does not have to be spent on the area surrounding the development.
A local resident believes that “the CIL would give considerable benefit to the residents of an area that requires considerable attention after many years of authority neglect. …… the estate received a Civic Trust Award in 1969 with the pub having a commendation in 1970”.
Why Is this area important?
The pub lies at one side of the Cambrian Wharf, a picturesque canal area near the city centre with moored canal boats on which people live. The Birmingham and Fazeley canal runs through the wharf and includes the No 1, Top Lock of the canal. This is a popular place for touring canal boats to visit and is near to the dining and entertainment districts of Brindleyplace and Broad Street which are nationally known.
The area is very attractive and contains historical features, so the appearance and scale of any new development needs a deal of thought so as not to detract from this historical area. It enhances the character of the city centre and reflects Birmingham’s industrial heritage which relied on canals to supply raw materials and ship out the locally manufactured goods.
The pub also has a strong following from Civic Close residents, local canal boat residents, visiting canal boat cruisers and may others who love the views over the canal, especially on a sunny evening in the superbly placed outside and balcony areas. The musical events are also well supported.
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Article by Geoff Caine