It has come to our attention that new plans have now been submitted
The new plans are significantly reduced from the original plans, which is going to make it even harder to successfully oppose them. It is therefore even more important than ever that we get our objections in. This is going to be a hard fight, but together we can win: The Flapper is important to the Birmingham music scene, and to the local residents. Holding on to the Flapper is important for the canal basin too: the boaters who use the moorings there deserve that space to be preserved. The residents at Civic Close should not be deprived of the open space there. The bands who get their first gigs there have precious few opportunities to get those first gigs. And yet the developers would throw all of this away, for what? A few new flats – and before anyone shouts about a housing crisis, you can bet these won’t be affordable homes, the sorts of homes that local families need. They’ll be flats for people who can afford to commute to London. They won’t contribute to the life or culture of the city, and barely put any money into the council’s coffers. They wont’ support local business or culture. They’ll mostly just be sleeping there.
What can we do?
There is a useful guide to objecting to planning applications here: objecting to planning applications and the actual submission from the developer is here. You can use that link to submit your comments to the council. Remember though, keep your comments relevant to the specific application. The developer’s profit motivation is not grounds to object, nor is any nostalgic memory you may have of the pub. Some things that are important and may be taken into account are:
- The value to the future of the music industry in Birmingham
- The negative impact of the local residents
- Importance to the local community
- Traffic/parking issues in the area (consider especially the problems when concerts are on at Arena Birmingham)
- Visual impact on the historic canal basin
- Loss of light to moored boaters
I’m sure there are many more, but most especially, let’s keep it professional and not get personal.
If you live in the West Midlands write to your local MP – if you’re not sure who that is, you can find out here.
You can also write to the local MP for Ladywood, Shabana Mahmood http://www.shabanamahmood.org/contact-me
Or write to the local councillors, Kath Hartley and Albert Bore c/o Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB
Finally, I expect that lobbying the Canal and River Trust might help.
For now, I’m going to be tweeting this piece in the direction of the Music Venue Trust to help raise a hue and cry about it.