‘Lack of privacy’ fears over flats in Jewellery Quarter

Neighbours of a planned four-storey building on the site of a former restaurant in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter have said they fear a “lack of privacy”.

Illustration of the planned homes to replace the former Henry's Restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter. Credit: St. Paul’s Associates Ltd.
Illustration of the planned homes to replace the former Henry's Restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter. Credit: St. Paul’s Associates Ltd.

Plans to demolish the former Henry’s Restaurant building at St Paul’s Square and build a four-storey block of flats will be put before Birmingham City Council’s planning committee on Thursday.

The new building would have two commercial units on the ground floor and 14 one and two-bed apartments, while part of a historic rear wall would be retained to serve as a boundary to neighbouring homes at St Paul’s Court.

The plans from Apex Investments Ltd have been contested in an online petition signed by 77 people and in 47 letters received by the city council.

Residents say the new building would result in a “loss of light and privacy” to properties in neighbouring St Paul’s Court, Kings Court, Colmore Place and St Paul’s Square.

Illustration of the planned homes to replace the former Henry's Restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter. Credit: St. Paul’s Associates Ltd.

An objection noted in a report to councillors states: “The size, depth, width, height and massing, would be overbearing for the residents in St Paul’s Court.

“There is a very high chance of us being forced to move out of our own home due to a considerable worsening of living and health circumstances which are already affected by the adjacent commercial use with entertainment into the night.

“Loss of the boundary wall will cause a lack of privacy and security to residents and make it easier for people to trespass onto our property.”

Ward councillor Councillor Chaman Lal also objected, stating he is “very concerned with the continued proliferation of increasing height and mass developments in the world-renowned Jewellery Quarter […]”.

Illustration of the planned homes to replace the former Henry's Restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter. Credit: St. Paul’s Associates Ltd.

Recommending approval, a planning officer disagreed with the view the building would have an “unacceptable impact on neighbouring properties”.

They said: “The proposal to provide a new four-storey building on the site to replace the existing building is acceptable.

“The new building proposed would reinstate built form at an appropriate scale to the Cox Street frontage and enhance the conservation area.

“The scale and mass of the new building at four storeys reflects the height of other buildings on street frontages in the vicinity and is acceptable in its context.

“The design reflects the industrial buildings that originally occupied the site and is appropriate.

“Although the considerable number of objections from residents are noted it is not considered that the development would have an unacceptable impact on neighbouring properties.”

The planning committee meeting can be viewed online on the city council’s committee meetings YouTube page from 11am on Thursday.

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