Plans to turn ex-car showroom into mosque thrown out following hundreds of objections

Cllr Lisa Trickett
Councillor Lisa Trickett -Credit:Nick Wilkinson / BirminghamLive

A planning application to turn a former car showroom into a mosque has been thrown out after major concerns about parking. Nearly 200 complaints were raised about the proposal to change the property in Avenue Road, Kings Heath, to an education centre and place of worship.

Worries centred on parking, increases in traffic, car collisions at the junction, the residential character of street, lack of housing, parking on grass verges and if the centre would be subject to Ofsted inspections. Another objection cited in the report was a fear "it would undue the work of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood."

Coun Lisa Trickett blasted the "lack of parking" and the "likely considerable increase in traffic" that would be caused by the facility in her submission. She said: "This will impact on a residential area that already experiences significant traffic problems. The plans show two parking spaces.

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"There is a suggestion that, because this site was previously a car showroom, there is ample parking. However that space is not something that is easily or appropriately used as a car park.”

Coun David Barker said: "Currently you could fit dozens of cars there (at the expense of residents trying to walk), but this won't be the case by the time anything is done with this location. The side roads along Avenue are already very congested and, as part of the LTN zone, don't allow for through traffic for anyone.

The site of the proposed mosque in Avenue Road, Kings Heath
The site of the proposed mosque in Avenue Road, Kings Heath -Credit:Google images

"They state the community live locally but this isn't qualified in any way at all. How close is local? Will everyone be able to walk? If not, as is suggested by their use of Avenue Road as a car park, where do they intend to store the cars coming in.

"I also would question what kind of centre this will be, given there are quite a few similar places of worship incredibly close by, and what it will serve that they don't.”

There were 13 letters and emails supporting the plans with people saying it would be well-maintained and an asset to the area, a benefit to the community and reduces 'anti-social behaviour by a regular footfall.'

Listing the council's reasons for refusing the application, the officer said: "The proposed use would result in large numbers of people travelling to and from the property, there is very little car parking proposed and this would result in the car parking needs of the proposed use being displaced to the wider street network to the detriment of neighbouring residents and pedestrian and vehicular highway safety."