The government’s Planning Inspectorate has overturned Sandwell Council’s Planning Committee decision to reject the creation of over 50 bedsit units above the shops on Bearwood Road.
Despite a wave of opposition from local residents living nearby, the Bristol-based Inspectorate ruled that the property developers could go ahead and convert the rooms above the shops in to bedsits.
Abbey councillor Bob Piper, who opposed the bedsits at the planning hearing in Sandwell said, “This is once again evidence of remote civil servants completely ignoring the wishes of local people. No-one seriously opposed the use of the space above the shops being converted for use for flats. In fact, some of the units already do have people living in them. However, this proposal attempts to maximise the developer’s profits by cramming as many units as possible in to the smallest space! One of the double shop fronts will find the space above the shops converted into 11 separate homes. For people living in nearby Herbert Road this threatens to be a nightmare as their properties are overlooked, and parking, already at a premium, threatens to become near impossible.
“There is barely any allowance for communal space whatsover, neither inside nor outside of the bedsits. It appears the developers are happy creating these equivalents to human battery farms, and the Planning Inspectorate, who won’t have to live with the consequences of their decision are content to allow them to do so.
“The units so far only apply to half of the row of shops. If and when they extend their plans to all of the shops there could be over 100 bedsits. The developers say they intend to let their tiny bedsits to ‘young professional single people without cars’ although they fully admit that they cannot enforce that as a tenancy condition. The reality is, now the Inspectorate have caved in and allowed the plans the landlords can let their properties to anyone they wish.”
Can we the general public who live and work here do anything to overturn the desicion made by people who have no idea what they are doing
I’m afraid there is no right of appeal to the Inspectors decision Hazel.
Can the Council allow a family home a shop or two? I remember such homes when I was living in London in the late 60s. What i understand these bedsits to be is the kind of student accommodation my daughter is renting.
I mend to say over the shops
I don’t think the landlords would take people from the council housing list.
maybe it will bring more business to bearwood and some of the shops can reopen as the people in these bedsits will use the high street .
I have just had a letter come through the post saying a new councillor is being imposed on Abbey residents by the Labour party. No thankyou for the services of the old one… just a shoehorn job. How can we be sure that Labour and the local council stands up for the local residents on issues like this, when the political system is, both locally and nationally, becoming a sham?
Mike, I find it impossible to argue with you. Let’s just say that when you say ‘locally’…we had no say in this decision whatsoever, nor the composition of the letter you received. I share your disgust at the failure to acknowledge the fantastic service to Bearwood and Sandwell that Steve has given over more than 30 years!
Thanks Bob… I understand your comments. On this occasion I have spoilt my ballot paper and posted it… I can not support a candidate, however nice he may be, being imposed on us…. this needs sorting and a byelection held soon if the labour candidate wins so that we can get Steve back. The three councillors in this ward have done a great job… I vote for them and not the party.
I’m afraid I have no influence on this Mike. You could make you comments to the Regional Director Fadek Takrouri email@example.com