Vermin and anti-social behaviour fears over Smethwick supermarket plan

Residents fear a proposed new supermarket in Smethwick could lead to an increase in vermin, anti-social behaviour and litter.

The former Pakistani Community Centre in Corbett Street, Smethwick. Photo: Google Maps
The former Pakistani Community Centre in Corbett Street, Smethwick. Photo: Google Maps

Sandwell Council’s planning committee is to decide on TS Global’s application to convert the former Pakistani Community Centre in Corbett Street into a “multi ethnic food store” when it meets on May 11.

But the proposal has sparked opposition in the area with a petition signed by 89 people and eight individual objections being lodged, raising a number of concerns.

A report to committee set out grounds for their objection to the supermarket, which would operate 8am to 8pm every day.

The report said the concerns were: “Highways impacts and car parking. Corbett Street has high levels of on street car parking. The proposal would increase these levels making it difficult for residents to park.

“Having a supermarket with food items would encourage even more vermin in the area. The proposal would increase anti-social behaviour and litter.

“The proposal would increase noise levels for residents in Corbett Street, the site is opposite the Windmill Shopping centre, another supermarket is not required.

“Residents were not informed about the proposal, the proposal is over development of the site.”

But the report addressed the concerns and said key agencies such as West Midlands Police, highways and pollution control had raised no objection to the proposals.

Officers added that hygiene and pest control would be subject to regular checks by environmental health officers.

A further concern about ward councillors being connected with the applicants was also raised, but officers confirmed they would not be involved in the decision on the application.

Parking spaces will be increased from the current 14 to 19 and planners believe the proposal won’t have a negative impact on neighbouring properties and are recommending approval.

In the application, the developers said: “The development will entail a multi-ethnic food store. The food/grocery on sale will be items that customers are unable to buy from a conventional supermarket.

“This building itself served as a community centre for many years which is now empty.

“When the centre was open it served high volumes of people daily. For example, for Friday prayers up to 700 people attended, during afternoons children’s Islamic classes would be held where up to 200 children would attend.

“Considering this, the street will be less busy with a supermarket rather than a community centre.

“In reality a supermarket in that location will contribute to the area nicely. Windmill Shopping Centre is situated opposite the site and just around the corner there are many shops on the high street.”

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