Fire safety concerns over new restaurant

Friday, 26 January 2024 10:50

By Christian Barnett, Local Democracy Reporter

Causeway Green Road, Oldbury. A new restaurant is set to open in the empty building. Pic: Google Maps

The region’s fire service has raised concerns about public safety over a bid to open a new restaurant.

The new Mediterranean Grill is set to open in Causeway Green Road, Oldbury, but is yet to receive a licence from Sandwell Council because of concerns from West Midlands Fire Service over the building’s fire safety credentials.

The public safety concerns over the new venue come after the restaurant’s outdoor seating was built differently from plans approved by Sandwell Council in 2021. At the end of last year, applicant Ervis Hallaci asked permission from Sandwell Council to sell alcohol as well as play live and recorded music until midnight every day from the Oldbury venue.

West Midlands Fire Service said it had concerns over Mr Hallaci’s application because of a lack of detail on fire safety. The fire service said it required more information on fire alarms, exits and other safety equipment before it could comment on the application, and Mr Hallaci had not provided them.

The fire service’s objection means a hearing will be held in Oldbury next week (January 30) over whether to give Mr Hallaci a new venue licence.

In order to rectify this matter an amended plan detailing the full demise of the premises, the location and type of all fire safety equipment, including fire alarm, emergency lighting and fire exit signs, fire exits, safety equipment in areas where cooking may take place, and the direction of exit doors on the means of escape should be forwarded.

The fire service also wanted Mr Hallaci to confirm parts of the building – including underneath stairs that led to the above flats – were fire resistant.

Mr Hallaci received planning permission from Sandwell Council in 2021 to build a single-storey extension as part of plans to turn the empty building into a restaurant. The work included an outdoor seating area with a retractable canvas roof. 

The restaurant’s outdoor seating did not match the agreed plans and was built to the side of the restaurant – behind a neighbouring takeaway and barber’s instead of directly behind the new eatery.

A ‘retrospective’ application – asking for permission for work that had already been carried out – was then put forward at the end of last year.
Sandwell Council then approved the ‘retrospective’ application but there were concerns that noise from the new restaurant – particularly the outdoor seating area – would disturb residents in the above and surrounding flats.

The council agreed to give ‘temporary’ 12-month permission for the outdoor seating area with an 11pm curfew and a ban on music playing outside.


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