The owners of the Skylark pub have applied to Birmingham City Council for permission to develop the site.
Mr Abdul Rashid, of Hodge Hill has applied via his agent, ZS Partnership of Small Heath, for permission to erect an extension to the sides, and to install a new shopfront and security shutters.
The Council received the application in the first week of this month.
Arvinder Dale, whose parents have run the nearby Mace store for 28 years, is angry that his family’s business will be threatened by this development. He says that Mr Rashid is planning to transform the Skylark into a supermarket grocery that will directly compete with Mace.
“We have invested heavily in our business over the years,” said Arvinder.
“We have been led to believe that the site of the Skylark would be developed as houses, not as a shop.
“We have served this community for many years. I used to be a pupil at Chivenor School, and we have supported the local schools in many ways. We also employ people from the local community. I am concerned that someone who has developed sites in Aston and Nechells, who has no interest in this community, is being allowed to develop this. The new owner is interested in business, not in the community.”
Mr Dale says that homes close to the Skylark on Farnborough Road have received letters from the Council indicating that they must register any objections to the planning application by 24th January.
Mr Dale has met with local councillors to make his objections to the plans.
A spokesperson for ZS Partnerships confirmed that the owner plans to develop the Skylark as a convenience store. If planning permission is granted, they wish to get started on the building work as soon as possible. He expects the shop to be open to the public before the end of the year.
He also denied that Mr Rashid had no interest in the community. “A convenience store is there to serve the community,” said the spokesperson. “The new shop would be a business and an asset to the community.”
The planning application details that the shop would open from 8am-7pm on Mondays to Saturdays, and from 10am to 5pm on Sundays. It says that it would improve the appearance of the local area, and that the site, if neglected, is an economic liability that would attract ‘vandalism and unsavoury persons.’
The Skylark pub could have been a success, but was not supported by local residents, says the application.
The Skylark closed as a pub in July 2008.
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