Monday, 3 March 2014

Widney Sports to become takeaway

CLOSED Widney Sports in Bentley Heath will become a restaurant and takeaway despite concerns about parking.

     ScreenShot001
Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.


Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has given planning permission to Mahboob Alam for a change of use of the unit to a restaurant and takeaway.

Some 12 comments were sent to the council opposing the plan – next to the Co-op supermarket - with none in support.

William Lord wrote: “The development is likely to result in inconsiderate and dangerous on street and foot way parking, which would be exacerbated by the lack of allocated parking spaces.”

He also said it “would cause harm to the amenities currently enjoyed by the occupiers of the nearby residential properties particularly by the general disturbance, noise, smells and litter”.

Marianne Hall said: “The proposed opening times will cause more traffic congestion in an already congested area.

“The opening time of 1730 is during the busiest time when many people are using the co-op on their return journey from work.”

Sarah Dickson said it will “lead to increased traffic on an already busy road which is home to many families with children”.

She said: “This could well lead to lives being further put at risk.”

But, in a response published on the council’s website, Mr Alam said its 5.30pm to 10.30pm opening is in “off peak hours”.

Permission has been given for 5pm to 10.30pm Monday to Friday; 5pm to 11pm on Saturday and 5pm to 9.30pm on Sunday.

He later said a traffic survey found demand is highest at 6pm to 7pm but the “peak dining time” will be 7pm to 9pm.

The business will have no lorry deliveries and 11 more spaces will be available to the back of the venue for customers only, he said.

Mr Alam said: “I have witnessed the busy nature of the front car park during the afternoon.

“Please be assured that I do not wish to add to this congestion and therefore my business will not be active during these hours.”

He pledged “the highest quality filtration systems” for its kitchen and said: “I would like to create a restaurant that the local community want to dine at and are proud of.”

To view the application and comments in full click here and enter 2013 and 2103 in the two boxes.

What do you think? Leave your comments below. No registration required. Posts must abide by the terms and conditions. Report comments at news@thesilhillian.co.uk.
Click here to get stories by email.

42 comments:

  1. Just what the area needs more of....not !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Surely better to have a business in it rather than an empty shop though. I can sympathise with the residents though.

    It's been empty a while, there is a post office, a corner shop, off license, co-op and a butcher - what else would have gone in there?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Anonymous 12:17; and at least its not another supermarket. We have too many of those too.
    There's nothing worse, or as sad, as an empty shop. Far better to have a thriving business in there (whatever it is) to attract more custom for the area. That has to be good for everyone, residents and other shop owners alike.
    This will add to the local amenities so I'm sure its going to be very successful - it's a popular location and at least we'll be close to restaurant within (reasonable) walking distance for an evening meal.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Superb news - just need to concrete over the bottom end of Bentley Heath Park and the parking issue will be resolved too.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must be new to the area - silly comment. This isn't London you know...

      Delete
    2. Silly or sarcastic; I can't decide!

      Delete
    3. I've been round the area long enough to know that sadly the park has only really attracted those who allow their dogs to use it as a public toilet. Get the car park in!

      Delete
  5. Not holding my breath about "the highest quality filtration system"!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Granting of a change of use has been allowed since government policy makes it possible to open a restaurant for a period of 2 yrs without consent, the takeaway element is secondary, its better to grant permission and place conditions.

    This makes broad sense until you consider the preponderance of betting shops, supermarkets and fast food outlets squeezing out variety.

    Some considerations:
    • SMBC and Planning Committee went beyond the government’s own National Planning Policy Framework.
    • A local MP stated that the 2 year window was intended for residential alterations, but here we are with a change of use partly justified upon the window.
    • The applicant was permitted to speak at Committee despite missing deadlines.
    • SMBC classified the area as a Parade and Local Shops, comparing Widney Road to Dove house Parade. Local Plan states Widney Road has “no obvious centre”.
    • SMBC state it’s a classified road –only since it links two numbered classified roads.
    • SMBC state the area was “primarily residential” at Committee this was not picked up.
    • The planning notice was not displayed on the premises and residents relied on a sharp eyed local to see spot this
    • When the Applicant saw the weight of local concern he withdrew, only to re-apply. Two of the most thought provoking elements ;
    - The Takeaway element would not be the primary business and would be “mainly by delivery rather than on foot” –how can this be monitored?
    - The parking survey commissioned supported the residents position. The gentlemen conducting the survey stated “he did not believe the site was suitable”. There is also evidence that elements of the survey were redacted.
    • A similar application in Chelmsley Wood was thrown out as “wholly inappropriate”. Committee failed to recall this. SMBC was also unable to recall why similar applications had been refused at the location, yet publicly available. During an application prior it was stated that "hot food takeaways cause us most problems". This was then not debated further.
    • SMBC state that the site is “bounded by woodland” - there are 88 residential properties with gardens within 100m, with the site bounded by private property.
    • Residents invited SMBC and Planning Committee to come and meet with them, yet no one engaged and there were 50 residential letters of concern submitted.
    - Committee takes opinion from its own representatives. One Councillor stating "I do not know the area, I drove down it once" and then provided support drawing parallels to materially different locations.
    - A Councillor making light of the situation rather than focusing on facts and resients concerns. Additionally stating "Your description is not the area I recognise". Residents provided a factual and accurate description.
    • SMBC state an “established night time economy”. After 7.45pm Widney Road is not a destination, and has only occasional residents popping out for top up provisions.
    • SMBC state that change of use would "offer a service not currently in the vicinity". There are 22 hot food outlets, not including garages and public houses within in 1.2 miles of the site many doing delivery.
    • No recognition of the establishment being within proximity to a local school, yet this is a material consideration in other instances.
    • Several Councillors at summing focused in on not being subject to a 'legal challenge' particularly prior to the vote.
    • Any Landlord needs to let his property as soon as, not least to avoid empty premises business rates. The land lord clearly sympathises to some extent on the basis there appears to have been objections logged for a change of use from cardshop to café in close proximity to a local business premises.

    Many elements of this should cause us all cause for thought, how we should all seek to protect those elements of our communities that we value, how we deal with each other, and to reflect on how elected representatives need to ensure they engage, listen and are accountable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous 2307,I fully concur with your excellent comments,in particular the planning committee councillors who by choice have the unenviable task of deciding the fate of applications, which contain untruths / inaccuracies which are rarely clarified and glossed over. The amount of letters from residents appears of little consequence and your comments about a councillor making light of the situation I find disgusting, the traffic/parking situation is the most dangerous within our area and when the accidents occur no one will be held to account, Your last paragraph is apt and to the point.If I may comment for myself I may try this restaurant as it would be within walking distance,however the takeaway element with collections and deliveries will cause problems, diners should be encouraged to park on the recreation ground car park if the owner supplied an employee to oversee the area (this works in the Balti Triangle in Birmingham.) This may also reduce the noise /upset to the local residents.

      Delete
  7. At least the focus has moved from Dorridge Sainsbury's. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  8. I truly hope they get no business and cease trading. I will never set foot in their establishment and will encourage others to do so. Solihull council have let the residents of Bentley heath down. It's up to us to talk with our feet and ensure this venture falls flat on its ugly face!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lovely reply... What if they buy their ingredients from the local butcher, employ your friend, pay business rates / tax, employ a local shopfitter... It's called the economy and your comment is short sighted and selfish.

      Delete
    2. This is nothing about the local economy. It is about lining the pocket of one individual. Fast food outlets are not to the benefit of the economy but a quick way to make money due to high margins. and yes I may be selfish for wanting to maintain the character if our community but I am not alone. Your comments are insensitive to those who have to live in the area.

      Delete
    3. Where do you think I live?! I tend not to look at local news sites for areas other than those I live in!

      It is the same as any business - it aims to make money but in doing so will only help other people and businesses and it isn't in the owner's interest to harm the local area. All I am saying is give them a chance to run a business rather than assuming it will just cause issues before it has even opened...

      Delete
    4. That's a good question you raise, where do you live ?

      Delete
    5. The existing indian restaurants in this area rarely employ local people or buy their produce from this area. They bring the staff in by mini bus from other areas and use suppliers and workmen from Indian or Asian based communities. But having said the Council and the landlord will benefit from the property being occupied. So it is in their best interests to allow the change of use and not to listen to the local residents.

      Delete
    6. What a vindictive and irrational comment! How would you feel if someone posted the same about your employer? It's irrational too. We have a garage, a dentist, beautician, hairdresser, grocer, butcher, newsagent, off licence, supermarket....even a post office (thank goodness) - even Dorridge doesn't have one of those! What is so wrong with a restaurant? It's the obvious choice and it doesn't seem like anyone else is willing to take the risk of establishing a business in our community.

      Delete
    7. A restaurant, .......and a takeaway. An office and residential accommodation, that is also obvious.

      Delete
  9. Sadly it probably won't, I feel the same about the lies and nonsense during planning for sainsburys. The planning committee is a shambles.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is not necessary to have another restaurant there are more than enough in Knowle and Dorridge. May be the planning department don't live in Bentley Heath and look down on the poor neighbours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ............it would be a good start if our elected Councillor actually lived in Bentley Heath, even in the Dorridge & Hockley Heath Ward would be a good starting point...........

      Delete
  11. 2 out of the 3 councillors live in Dorridge the other lives in Balsall Common. Bentley Heath has more History than Knowle but does appear a poor relation in relation to Knowle & Dorridge.Never mind the new houses at DORRIDGE GATE on Four Ashes Road have created a lot of interest and more customers and chaos for our village.

    ReplyDelete
  12. With regard to Indian food, these are a diets known to be fat, saturated fat, salt and low in fruit and vegetables. Researchers have found that foods such as this are a major contributor to health problems including obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some types of cancer.

    A single Indian takeaway can contain as much as 23.2g of saturated fat researchers found. (See: Which - Pilau Talk)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Most restaurant food is pretty unhealthy Italian, French , Chinese, high end, fast food, whatever. Not really a valid argument against this establishment, more against restaurants/takeaways in genera

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think this is a reasonable option. The additional traffic won't be there at busy times. The only other thing missing here is probably a betting shop, not sure what other type of business could survive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Anonymous 16:59. This is the most reasonable option - it could well have been a betting shop, charity shop and many other perhaps equally unacceptable trades. I just don't understand all this fuss about traffic/parking. It was once a busy shop, with all the same issues....nothing has changed. It seems to me that this is the perfect solution - since if there is any increase in traffic it will be in the evening and not during the main trading hours. It's the Co-op that attracts most of our traffic and parking issues.

      Delete
    2. The defining character of Widney Road after day time trading hours and the end of day traffic is that is is quiet, with a preponderance of residential property and gardens. (Look on Google Earth). It is not a destination. A restaurant and takeaway fundamentally alters this, especially in the evening. Granting approval sets a poor precedent for this area and all others.

      A great explanation on this is provided by SMBC in another application in Bentley Heath;

      Application: 2000/2163 Full Plans Refusal: "would cause unacceptable harm to amenities of nearby residential dwellings, especially by virtue of late night customers and car noise, cooking odours (especially in the summer months), litter and general comings and goings a use such as this would attract in an otherwise predominantly quiet residential area"

      I can therefore imagine that residents would love a charity shop.

      Delete
  15. I would suggest that residents become knowledgeable in the following areas to ensure you can ensure that your amenity is preserved.

    1) Make sure you understand the conditions that were placed on this planning application - they are there to safeguard your amenity.

    2) DEFRA Guidelines for Control of Noise & Odour
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69280/pb10527-kitchen-exhaust-0105.pdf

    3) BS 4142: 1997 - A method of Rating Industrial Noise Affecting Residential and Industrial Areas.
    This deals with the difference between plant noise levels (such as commercial catering equipment) and how the noise in question exceeds the background noise.

    ReplyDelete
  16. In response to 4th March 2014 I now understand the connection - The Silhillian blog about a recent application to turn a Knowle card shop into a cafe.

    Derek Capelin wrote: “My offices are behind the proposed application, as well as other businesses. I am concerned that there will be too much noise/music which will cause a nuisance for my staff, business and clients who visit us.”

    I now understand that Derek Capelin, Capelin Financial Management, Knowle, is the landord of what was Widney Sports.

    Is this not a clear question of double standards to the residents of Widney Road ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Worth thinking about Codes of Ethics and Professional Practice if that is the case.

      Delete
  17. If permissions have been obtained through false statements then you should also look at whether a fraud has been committed by all the parties involved.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It would be nice if it was easier to use a name instead of the ubiquitous "anonymous". Some of us aren't very computer literate, I find it difficult, along with many others, to follow the comments as they are all anonymous. Perhaps someone out there could explain how to do that on the "select profile" option.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Matt of Tilehouse29 July 2014 at 11:50

    Forgive me if this point has been covered, there are a lot of posts and I don’t have time to read them all.

    Generally I’m disappointed by the lack of originality of what the site is to become. In a very small space we are inundated with restaurants and takeaways, the majority of which cater for the same cuisine, but if there is demand for this then the proprietor is simply fulfilling the demands we are making.

    As consumers it is up to us to use our buying power to help shape our community and support the businesses we care about.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Get your website on google top 10 Results, Best Search Engine Optimization Company in Pakistan
    Contact Now
    Skype : Jobz.Corner
    www.jobzcorner.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Get Facebook Likes on your fb page, likes on your facebook pictures, followers on your facebook id, shares of your facebook posts, every thing is available here, visit for more details
    www.jobzcorner.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. The landlord made an intentional misrepresentation to SMBC and SMBC knowing this used this to justify their decision. Would you trust either? One is supposed to look after your well being and the other your money ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's called fraud.

      Delete
  23. Let's hope all the moaners don't use any other of the restaurants around out of respect to THEIR neighbours. There are some restaurants situated out in the country with no neighbours at all. I assume those are the only acceptable eating establishments?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are missing the point, a fraud was committed and it can be proven. A fraud is a fraud.

      Delete
  24. Find best business in the world where you can invest only $10 and get 3000% Profit, most popular website in ranking, Join now
    www.investorganization.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Have you seen the disgusting state of the car park, litter, weeds, rubbish, scrap, waste food containers, cooking oil barrels.

    ReplyDelete