Tuition centre plan for Wednesbury pub rejected

A bid to convert a disused Wednesbury pub into an Islamic tuition centre has been rejected due to the traffic “mayhem” it would cause.

The Forge, on Franchise Street, Wednesbury. Photo: Google Maps
The Forge, on Franchise Street, Wednesbury. Photo: Google Maps

Developers wanted to create the learning facility catering for children aged between eight and 16, on The Forge in Franchise Street, teaching English, Maths, IT and Arabic Studies.

Design Space 2 Ltd, planning agents for the developer listed as Mr Asharaf, had stressed the centre would not be a mosque and would create several jobs.

But objectors said the proposal was inappropriate for the location which already suffered with traffic, parking and speeding problems and was also under-served by public transport.

They also argued there were several existing facilities within a few hundred metres of The Forge.

Wednesbury North councillor Peter Hughes told planning committee, on April 7, he had been involved in the application for years.

He said: “We’ve got a strong Bangladeshi community and they will know I have got no problem with Muslim facilities being granted planning permission provided they are in the right place.

“This particular premises was a former pub which went out of use quite a number of years ago so it has remained derelict ever since.

“We have invited people to try to develop on there but what is definitely not a good use of that facility is what is proposed.

“The highways problems that would surround this particular application would be quite severe. It’s on the junction of a very narrow road but used by quite a lot of traffic.

“We’ve had complaints of speeding going down there and with it being narrow, it is not a safe road by any means.

“It’s on a junction. In terms of any traffic pulling up there to pick up and drop off children to a tuition centre would cause absolute mayhem.

“This would not be considered an appropriate location for such a facility either. We’ve sat down with planners and those putting the application forward.

“The council would be very happy to talk to developers about an alternative use for this site and also for the council to talk positively with the applicants to find out if there is another site within Wednesbury that might be suitable.

“Within less than a few hundred yards of this site, there are probably three other tuition centres. They are not Wednesbury but they are literally across the boundary.

“The proposal is not appropriate in planning terms, from a highways term and I don’t think it is a vicinity that is required in that geography.”

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