Residents have taken to the streets of Aston to protest against the planned conversion of an abandoned school.
The Grade II-listed Broadway School building, on Whitehead Road, has been deserted since pupils were moved to a new site in Perry Barr in 2011.
Now it is set to be converted into a Hospitality and Catering Studio School for 14 to 19-year-olds from the surrounding areas.
Studio Schools are part of a Government-funded scheme to create state schools which combine academic learning with vocational training.
The project is being completed by Kajans, a social enterprise based in Aston.
But some local people claimed they were not consulted when the plans were being made, and that the conversion will not benefit their community.
Ayoub Khan, 40, a former Liberal Democrat councillor for Aston, led a protest of more than 50 people outside the site of the building.
“It is a scandal,” he said. “The local councillors should have consulted the community, but they didn’t. It was all done behind closed doors. We want transparency.”
Ayaz Iqbal, 32, lives on Whitehead Road but insisted he was unaware of the proposals until building work had begun.
“It’s been taken under our nose without any consultation whatsoever with the community,” he claimed.
“We require schools and local nurseries so that local children can go to these places. That’s why we’re here.”
But protesters’ claims were refuted by Hermin McIntosh, executive director of Kajans.
She said: “It’s not for any one community – it’s for young people who want to develop their career. I don’t understand why this community doesn’t feel it can participate.
“We know there is a need for community provision, and have designed the building in such a way that that can happen.”
Ms McIntosh rejected claims that local people had not been involved in the consultation process.
She said: “The process took over a year and included an extensive consultation. There have been public meetings held here, and notices have been there.
“There have been open days to tell people what is going on, and we’ve had leaflets that have gone through the door. We’ve had parents enrolling their children based on information from those leaflets, so I know it’s been done.”