Digbeth wedding venue plotting ‘urgent’ move to controversial supermarket site

Sunday, 21 April 2024 22:55

By Christian Barnett, Local Democracy Reporter

A banqueting hall has asked for permission to move into a former supermarket – two years after similar plans were thrown out over a wave of objections from neighbours.

Digbeth-based Crown Banqueting has put forward proposals to move into the empty former Lidl supermarket in Old Walsall Road, Hamstead, Birmingham.

In the application, Crown Banqueting, based in Upper Trinity St, Digbeth, Birmingham, said it “urgently” needs to find a new venue because of plans by Birmingham City Council to demolish its current building as part of regeneration projects in the area.

A statement included with the application to Sandwell Council by Crown Banqueting said: “The property would be redeveloped and brought back into use. Works would begin almost as soon as planning permission is granted. The development will create up to 30 local jobs. More importantly, as this is an existing business which is relocating, the development will save 30 existing jobs and allow the client to continue to provide his highly demanded services.

“The proposal is for the change of use and internal alterations only. External alterations will be applied for under a separate application. Internally, the layout in its existing form is well suited to the proposed use. Building works mainly consist of knocking down and creating partitions, installing washroom and kitchen facilities. The kitchen has been located to the south of the site. Planning permission will be applied for before this is installed.”

The new move by Crown Banqueting comes after plans to open a banqueting hall in the former supermarket were thwarted by Sandwell Council almost two years ago after significant objections from neighbours.

The plan was criticised for not providing enough parking spaces – and the council was anxious the shortfall would prove problematic for already concerned neighbours. 

The council said the banqueting facility would need to provide 120 parking spaces – and with only 88 proposed, planners said the proposed location was unsuitable. 

At the time, the council also said it would reject plans to convert the former supermarket into a banqueting hall unless it could be proven there was a need for a new venue.

“A banqueting/conference facility should ordinarily be directed towards a town centre location due to the numbers it is likely to attract and the impact it has on the local area,” the council’s planners said in a report outlining the rejection.

“Such a facility should be located in a more appropriate and sustainable location where it has less of an impact on local residents and is accessible by a range of transport modes and encourages use by means of travel other than the car.

“Additional concerns here include the impact on the local community and the issues surrounding noise and disturbance on the local residents, caused by the functioning of the banqueting facility.”

Budget chain Lidl moved 300 metres away along Walsall Road into a new purpose-built and bigger supermarket on the former GKN factory site at the end of 2021.

The abandoned supermarket was put on the market for over one million pounds in 2020.


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