Plans by a developer to convert the rooms above the shops on Bearwood Road into nearly 50 bedsits have been rejected by Sandwell Council’s Planning Committee.
The committee heard from residents in Herbert Road, and Ward councillor Bob Piper, that the scale of the development would not only impact on neighbouring properties, but would also have an adverse impact on the character of the area.
There were also objections from West Midlands Police, who expressed concern that so many flats with no off street parking would mean cars parking way outside the sightlines of residents and would be likely to lead to car crime. The police and highways officers also said to put so many bedsit apartments in a small space would place excessive demands on already congested streets.
Bob Piper told the committee that local residents and Abbey councillors welcomed the investment in the shops, and didnt object entirely to some living accomodation above the shops – some already have tenants – but that the overintensity of these proposals would be damaging, and residents and councillors were happy to talk to the developers to see if there was a solution which would be acceptable to everyone.