Controversial plans to turn three houses in Edgbaston into a guest house were approved. The objections raised are mainly concerns about anti-social behavior and the fact that the owner already owns the hotel next door.
Houses 3, 5 and 7 on St Augustine’s Road – which consist of self-contained apartments – are situated within the Edgbaston Conservation Area, close to the Grade II* listed St Augustine Church. The Norfolk Hotel is next door and all are owned by the St. Augustine Management Society.
Five objection letters were sent to the chiefs, including one from Representative Preet Gill and Councilor Carl Rice, as well as a petition with 58 signatures. The objections were mainly related to concerns around the potential for antisocial behavior that would have increased in the area.
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In the report presented at today’s meeting of the Birmingham City Council planning committee, Representative Gill’s comment was summarized as follows: . Antisocial behavior in the area has increased.
“They should consider an alternative location. If the proposal was for a hotel with a maximum stay of 7 days this would be more acceptable.”
Cllr Rice’s comment was summarized as follows: “The owner of this property also owns the Norfolk Hotel, which doubles as a hostel. The existing problems in the area will get worse if this is approved.”
West Midlands Police and Fire Department were consulted and did not raise objections. Police recommend installing a robust access control system at common entry points and installing CCTV to cover pedestrian entrances and common space, as well as an anti-crime lighting scheme.
Adviser Gareth Moore said: “I’m a little torn about this because in principle I don’t really have a problem with using the inn, but I’m aware of Airbnbs that have operated in Erdington that can cause issues of antisocial behavior and crime.
“I know the police are pleased with this, but I just want to make sure that this issue has been fully considered, because it certainly seems from my experience that since there is no one on site to keep an eye on these people, they seem to think they can get away. with more than would be the case.
“If you had a hotel, at least it would have a facade of some description, whereas according to the description here there is none of that.”
Committee members discussed the possible risks but were persuaded by the fact that the police had no objections. There were eight votes in favor of the plans and no objections.