Local campaigners are celebrating success at the rejection of a planning application to turn the Cross Keys Pub into a 15-bed hostel. The Council received 153 letters of objection including from Erdington Councillor Robert Alden, who led the campaign locally to stop the hostel application.
Residents raised the following objections to the Council about the application: -
· Inappropriate use of the site given the proximity to a church, nurseries and a school;
· Adverse impact on the listed buildings within the vicinity;
· Lack of parking, resulting in highway safety issues;
· Impact on ‘already overstretched’ local services;
· Adverse impact on the character of the local centre;
· Road traffic noise and poor air quality would create a poor living environment for the occupants;
· The proposal is contrary to regeneration proposals for Erdington;
· It is over intensive for the area and the property itself;
· Negative impact on the local community and on nearby listed buildings, such as the Abbey and the listed wall opposite and the non-designated heritage asset shops opposite. The pub should be considered a non-designated heritage asset therefore and not altered;
· The application is out of character for the Erdington community and is contrary to the mature suburbs policy objective of protecting suburbs;
· The area is already saturated with this kind of accommodation and so cannot sustain any more being built in the local area.
· Loss of pub and community amenity, this proposal would remove a much-needed community asset that could easily be used as a pub or restaurant again;
· Intrusive on neighbours and leading to excessive noise for neighbours as well as damaging the public amenity;
· The site is close to Highclare School, Osborne School, Osborne Nursery, Abbey School and other nurseries which would mean children could be placed at risk from any anti-social behaviour from the development;
· The building looks over Highclare School and it is inappropriate to have a hostel looking over the grounds of a school;
· Risk of increased crime and anti-social behaviour. This is also on the only access route to the train station for thousands of Erdington residents. Therefore, any trouble from this property will have a disastrous impact on the ability of local residents to be able to access public transport;
· The proposal is not in keeping with the proposals from the Future High Street Fund application and the City Council Urban Centres Framework.
This latest success follows after campaigners have already had to fight off attempts to turn the ground floor into flats and an attempt to turn the site into a 22 bed HMO previously rejected in January 2019.
Cllr Robert Alden who has led the campaign to stop the Cross Keys being converted into a hostel said “the site was totally inappropriate for use as a hostel. The Cross Keys site is a key location at the heart of Erdington on the crossroads to the train station and the High Street, it is also a non-designated heritage asset impacting neighbouring listed buildings. It is therefore welcome the planning department has listened to residents’ concerns, including the risk of increased crime and the sub-standard accommodation being proposed and refused this application”.
Robert added “ We will remain vigilant in case the applicant decides to appeal or put a new application in while we continue the work, we have been doing with the Council, to try and secure an alternative use for the site that is more suitable for this very prominent location in Erdington”.