PLANS to demolish a former Redditch nightclub and replace it with a four-storey block of apartments have been put on hold.
The development of the site of the former Area nightclub in Church Road, next door to the bus depot, had been recommended for approval by borough planning officers and two letters in favour of the scheme had said it would help regenerate the town centre.
The original building had started life as a cinema before operating as a Gala Bingo centre before being used as nightclub from the year 2000.
The project would have seen the construction of 12 one bedroom apartments and 15 two bedroom apartments with 17 parking spaces provided on the ground floor together with a cycle storage facility.
However borough planners had qualms about the development; on the issue of parking the building could potentially see the arrival of 42 cars with only 17 spaces provided.
In addition none of the flats were set aside for social housing, breaking the council’s own rules on their provision. Not only that but it was felt the development could adversely affect the evening economy of the town centre.
“I really wanted this to go through but it broke our own policies on social housing,” said Councillor Joe Baker (Lab, Greenlands). “The developer said he couldn’t afford to provide the social housing element but if this was given the go ahead it would open us up for every developer saying exactly the same thing,
“Then there was all the cars that could be parked in Church Road. It was said these could go in Car Park 7 but this is locked at night,” he added.
In the end a motion to approve the development was defeated by five votes to three.
With no alternative proposal put forward to refuse planning permission, the project has been put on hold and will be revisited at the next planning meeting, however Coun Baker said that if no changes were made to the scheme he would once again be voting against it.