Posted by: The Prince of Whales | January 9, 2011

D Day for The Prince of Wales


The Prince ... let down by the greed of Punch again!

Just a few days ago I learnt that this coming Thursday (January 13th) will see the future of Moseley’s last traditional pub sacrificed to commercial greed. For this Thursday, Crosby Lendlease, the developer infamous for attempting to close down other Birmingham pubs, will present the Planning Committee with its application to build 50 luxury (ie Yuppie) apartments next door to The Prince.

Now that’s bad, but what’s really bad is the Planning Officer has recommended approving the application. Shame on you Victoria Barnett! Despite objections from 500 people: despite objections from the Police (concerned about flats overlooking their police Station on Woodbridge Road); despite a recommended refusal from the Council’s own noise experts at Regulatory Services; despite objections from the Fire Brigade and despite a “substantial material change” from the last application.

What is even more shocking is the lack of support for an important part of our heritage. The Moseley Society would be fighting furiously to preserve the Dovecote (if it was under threat), enjoyed by a handful of people a few times a year. Yet the village pub, 150 years old this year and enjoyed by hundreds of people every week, is thrown away and left to its fate at the mercy of a bunch of Australian property developers.

Whilst sad, the real tradgedy has its seeds a few years ago, before we arrived at the pub.

Punch Taverns, the freeholders of the Prince of Wales (we operate a lease) failed to object when the developer put in there original planning application in 2006. This I would argue is negligent and bad enough … they failed to protect the future of the pub. However what was almost crimmal is that they went further … they actually did a deal with the developer where they sold off the pub’s “right to light” (the new flats obscure the light from the pub windows on the side elevation) and agreed not to object to the development. Punch sold the Prince down the river, selling the long term future of the Pub in exchange for short term cash in hand.

Now its true, I signed this agreement too, but only after months of refusing. Eventually Punch sent a motorcycle courier from their Bristol based solicitors to the Pub and he was told not to leave until I had signed the papers. Punch then called me and told me I must sign, if not I would not be given any further beer and would be in breech of my lease. Under duress I signed.

Now we are all going to suffer. The Nightingale, The Spotted Dog, The Rainbow; all these places suffered at the hands of neighbours complaining about noise. Without even a single brick being laid, The Prince is suffering at the hands of the people who should be protecting it!

Can we stop the flats. The experts tell us not.

Well, fuck the experts. Come with me to the Council House this Thursday morning and we will give it our best shot. See you there at The Planning Committee; 11am

 

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Responses

  1. If work commitments allow I will attend but love ya work and keep fighting on…

  2. Chris, thanks for your support.


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