Birmingham homes plan 'could force Nightingale club to close’

Plans for 116 homes next to a club are set for refusal after developers changed their minds about entering an agreement to limit noise.

Views of the proposed development at Kent Street - opposite the Nightingale club. Credit: Birmingham City Council
Views of the proposed development at Kent Street - opposite the Nightingale club. Credit: Birmingham City Council

The plans from Prosperity Developments and the trustees of the Gooch Estate involve the demolition of existing buildings at Kent Street, Birmingham.

In their place would go 116 apartments with a ground floor of two commercial units which could potentially be used as pubs or wine bars.

The development would be located across the road from the Nightingale club – a longstanding nightclub catering especially for the LGBTQ+ community.

The plans were approved in July last year and it was proposed the applicant and Nightingale Club would enter into an agent of change agreement.

This is an agreement to manage the impact of change as a result of a new development – in this case, securing noise controlling measures at the nearby Nightingale club.

But the legal agreement has not been completed and the applicant has said they are no longer willing to enter into an agent of change agreement to secure noise control works at the Nightingale.

Instead they are proposing to seal all windows on the Lower Essex Street elevation facing the Nightingale Club.

A planning officer has questioned whether this would “lead to unreasonable living conditions for its future residents that would, in turn, have a harmful effect on the operation of the adjacent existing nightclub”.

The council’s regulatory services have said the approach being proposed “significantly underestimates bass noise intrusion and we would require a more effective mitigation design to deal with noise breakthrough on the façade”.

Recommending the plans are refused, the planning officer said: “[…] If the proposed development goes ahead and residents complain as a result of intrusive noise, they are almost certain to determine a statutory nuisance from the Nightingale and will be legally obliged to serve notice.

“This in turn could result in the future of the club itself being at risk.

“On balance, I consider that the lack of five-year housing supply does not outweigh the significant and demonstrable harm to the poor living environment for a significant number of prospective residents and potential impact on the Nightingale nightclub, which could ultimately force it to close.”

The planning committee recently approved plans for 456 one and two bedroom flats nearby on land bordered by Gooch Street North, Kent Street and Lower Essex Street.

In that case, developers proposed that windows on the development that would be facing the Fox pub be sealed shut to prevent noise pollution.

The planning meeting can be viewed from 11am on March 17 on Birmingham City Council’s committee meetings YouTube page.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News