Plans for 55 flats on a car park next to a live music venue have been thrown out because the residents would find the noise unbearable.

Developers wanted to build a five storey block next to the African Village restaurant and bar at the junction of Birchfield Road and Wellington Road in Perry Barr.

But the restaurant, which was formerly the Crown and Cushion pub, is allowed to host live music and entertainment until 1am weekdays and 6am over Friday and Saturday nights.

City planning officials felt the design and size of the apartment block, on the car park at the back, was acceptable in every aspect except that they are so close to the nightspot.

A spokesman for Perry Barr Developments, which is behind the scheme, said that the bar is only open late on one evening per week and argued that background traffic noise has been found to be louder than that from the bar.

But the council’s planning officer said that residents tend to ignore general background noise, like traffic, but cannot so easily ignore music from a specific source.

He said: “A resident occupying a flat facing the African Village restaurant on an evening when there is live music would have to close their window for quite significant periods of time.”

And added that a large number of flats would face the venue, while a previous plan for student flats had the apartments mostly facing inwards or away from the bar.

Cllr Gareth Moore (Cons, Erdington) said that the noise concerns are genuine. “They are likely to happen having a residential premises close to a late night venue like this, until 6am on Friday or Saturday is quite late for something in a local centre.“

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Cllr Fiona Williams (Lab, Hodge Hill) dismissed the traffic concerns saying the roads would be busy and noisy during the day, but would be quiet late at night.

The council voted to reject the scheme.

Managing the building of flats next to a lively music venue or noisy factory has been a regular problem for council planners. A famous case saw the long established Fiddle and Bone jazz club in Sheepcote Street closed in 2002 due to complaints about noise from the newly built apartments next door. Planners have been reluctant to see other established businesses suffer that same fate.