Fight to save ‘historic’ Perry Barr bus garage

The ongoing regeneration of Perry Barr could be under threat after councillors challenged a decision to demolish an ‘historic’ bus garage.

Campaigner Josh Bunting and local Councillor Morriam Jan in front of the bus garage
Campaigner Josh Bunting and local Councillor Morriam Jan in front of the bus garage

Due to be heard before the council next week, a meeting will determine whether the revised plans for the regeneration of Perry Barr will still go ahead, after being passed by the cabinet back in July.

The area has already seen unprecedented levels of change over the past 12 months as it gears up to become the epicentre of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with recent works including the construction of homes on the former Birmingham City University site, the demolition of the A34 flyover and the construction of a new Sprint bus lane along the same route.

However two Perry Barr councillors, Councillor Jon Hunt and Councillor Morriam Jan, have challenged the next phase of development, as it would mean the demolition of a near 90-year-old bus garage.

They’ve teamed up with local teenage campaigner Josh Bunting, 18, to challenge the decision, with 90 people having already signed a petition against the plans.

When it opened in 1932, the garage was reportedly the largest unsupported indoor space in the UK (ie built without pillars).

And, speaking ahead of next week’s call-in meeting, Councillor Jan argued that the bus garage should be repurposed, and turned into a community space with an indoor market and sporting facilities.

“Retaining the garage for a community space is a terrific idea and would breathe life into the new village with its hundreds of homes and flats,” she said.

“It would help make Perry Barr an urban centre to be proud of. That is why I am doubling up efforts to make sure this idea comes to fruition.”

“I want a good future for Perry Barr,” added local campaigner Josh Bunting.

“That needs imagination as well as money and I am pleased that the masterplan part of the council has come up with this idea.

“We must now stop it being overtaken by over-development of Perry Barr.”

The call-in will take place next Wednesday, August 18.

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