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NOISE ROW THREATENS DIGBETH DEVELOPMENT

07-07-2007

Spotted Dog - Digbeth

Digbeth's multi million pound regeneration could be jeopardised by the current row over the Spotted Dog pub. The Stirrer understands that plans for a major development in the area will be put forward early next week - but the scheme could collapse if no agreement is reached over acceptable noise levels.

The proposal, being made by a Dublin-based developer, involves the demolition of virtually all the buildings between the coach station and the Irish Centre, bounded by Bradford Street on one side, and Digbeth High Street on the other.

Only the White Swan pub, which is listed, will survive.

The current jumble of warehouses and factory units will be replaced by an upmarket hotel, an apartment block, and a revamped, seven storey Irish centre incorporating offices and, yes, more flats.

Until now, the assumption within city planning circles has been that the scheme would get the go-ahead, and there have been months of intensive negotiations to ensure it goes off without a hitch - with a formal planning application expected in about ten weeks.

Now it could all come to grief if senior figures at the Irish Club - which is a key component of the deal - get cold feet.

And The Stirrer understands that many of its members are now starting to worry that if they support the plan, they could end up facing restrictions about noise and opening hours similar to those imposed on the Spotted Dog.

We also understand that at least two large warehouses close to Bradford Street have been bought for conversion to flats, making the situation even more acute.

One source told The Stirrer: “They need the Irish Club to set the whole thing off, so everyone there needs to be happy.

“After what’s happened with John Tighe at the Spotted Dog, they are looking for concrete guarantees the same thing won’t happen to them.

“People moving in have to be told that city living means that you are living in a city. If you want peace and quiet, go and live in Sutton Coldfield.”

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