HISTORIC: Pub will not be become Kurdish community centre
An iconic Handsworth pub previously used as an unauthorised place of worship will not become a Kurdish community centre, it has been announced.
Following a meeting of the council’s planning committee today (Aug 19), it was decided that The Farcroft pub on Rookery Road will not be converted into a community centre due to a lack of information on the plans.
An application had been submitted to turn the pub into a community centre including social event halls, a restaurant, funeral service, school, prayer halls and residential accommodation.
Last month it was revealed that the pub, which is closed for business, was being used as an unauthorised place of worship, something which the owners say they knew nothing about after sub-letting the premises.
Before the application was submitted it had been said that the owners intended to restore the pub to its ‘former glory’, with a campaign backed by local councillor Paulette Hamilton.
However the future of the premises again seems to be up in the air today, with Cllr Mike Ward (Sheldon, Lib Dem) stating that he could not support the proposals while there was so little information available.
“The Farcroft is a large building, and we know from bitter experience how difficult it is to sustain a public house business in buildings that large,” he said.
“The proposal to turn this into a community centre is probably broadly a good one. After all, a pub is a community centre of sorts. But I share the officer’s recommendations that there’s not enough detail in the proposal, particularly around the standards of the residential accommodation.
“So in the future I might be minded to support a proposal for a community centre, but on the basis of an absence of detail, I’m happy to support the officer’s recommendation for refusal at this stage.”
And he was supported in his comments by Cllr Julie Johnson (Weoley and Selly Park, Lab), who said: “I’ve read the report in full and I agree with the officer’s recommendation. The application doesn’t give sufficient information about what is intended for this development.
“In its current form I just don’t think we have enough information to support.”
Words: Tom Dare, Local Democracy Reporter
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