Third time lucky as flats plan approved for former Birmingham bar site

Nearly 100 apartments are set to be built on the site of the former African Village bar in Birmingham after councillors granted approval for construction to begin.

The new apartment block planned for the former site of the African Village bar and restaurant
The new apartment block planned for the former site of the African Village bar and restaurant

The eight-storey apartment building will contain 95 apartments and be situated at the corner of Birchfield Road and Wellington Road, where the popular restaurant stood until being demolished following a fire in January of this year.

The Perry Barr development will contain 58 two-bedroom apartments and 37 one-bedroom apartments, with the ground floor providing five commercial units and a ‘plant room’.

Two previous applications for developments on the site had been refused by the council in previous years.

Firefighters at African Village in January. Photo: SnapperSK

However, councillors voted to approve the plans during a planning committee, with documents noting that the proposals present "a coherent and deliverable strategy for redevelopment of the ‘African Village’ site to form a key gateway to the wider Parry Barr regeneration area."

Images show an impressive 26 metre-high building with an eight-storey high curved frontage, with the building tapering down to five storeys as it runs along both Wellington Road and Birchfield Road frontages.

Just ten of the apartments will be affordable housing, being an equal mix of one and two-bedroom apartments to be sold at 20 per cent discount of market value.

This, the developers say, is "the most that can be sustained by the development without impacting on viability and deliverability."

"This application proposes a striking contemporary redevelopment of the ‘African Village’ site, addressing its corner context and high visibility with a landmark building informed by local design features and precedents," papers from yesterday’s meeting say.

"The proposed mix of commercial and residential uses will help to enhance existing land uses in the immediate area, extending the existing Perry Barr commercial area and reinforcing its character by tying it into the new gateway building."

Permission was given by the city council to bulldoze the African Village pub, formerly the Crown and Cushion pub, at the end of January after a devastating fire ripped through the premises in mid-January.

Forty fire-fighters attended the scene on January 14, with the blaze causing part of the building’s roof to collapse.

During the incident a man was pulled to safety through a window, and it was later determined that the fire was accidental.

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