'The final straw.': Cricket club site could become homes in row over plans

A cricket club chairman has said neighbours’ attempts to stop plans to extend its bar is the “final straw” and the it may allow the site to become homes.

Walmley Cricket Club
Walmley Cricket Club

More than 70 neighbours had objected to a licensing bid from Walmley Cricket and Sports Club to extend its bar to include outdoor areas – with a licensing sub-committee meeting due to be heard on January 31.

Martin Hoffman, chair of Walmley Cricket and Sports Club in Eldon Drive, said he is now minded to accept an offer of more than £4 million from developers for the 4.2 acre-site.

This would see the ground become homes, and the cricket club moved to another location nearby, he said – adding a that meeting is likely to be called to decide the club’s future irrespective of the outcome of the licensing hearing.

Mr Hoffman denied that the club posed a noise problem and said the changes had already been introduced – with the licence application being put in retrospectively.

He added the club already has a licence to open until 1am at weekends but chooses not to – and that fears around noise continuing later into the evening will not be borne out.

The club is seeking permission to show films, hold indoor sporting events and play recorded music indoors from 11am-11.45pm, Monday to Thursday, to 1am on Friday and Saturday and 10.30pm on Sunday.

Mr Hoffman said: “This is an unwanted distraction from what we are trying to achieve here.

“I am going to have to call a meeting of the executive committee and consider taking a multi-million pound offer on the table which we have been fending off for some time.

“Developers have found us a spot within two miles and they will build houses on this place.

“Every time I get aggravation from the neighbours it pushes me closer and closer to this decision. This could be the final straw.

“We are very conscious of our neighbours and very respectful.”

A total of 74 objections have been lodged to the licensing application, with neighbours stating there is already a problem around “noise and drunkenness”.

Concerns around parking problems have also been raised, with residents fearing increased capacity at the pavilion would mean fewer parking spaces on nearby roads.

The club has said measures to tackle noise include a noise-limiting device being installed, and doors and windows being fixed closed while music is played.

The case will be heard by a Birmingham City Council licensing sub-committee from 10am on January 31 and can be viewed on the council’s committee meetings YouTube page.

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