Anyone in Birmingham with a taste for good food knows that the best baltis are found in Sparkbrook, most delicious Chinese dishes around Hurst Street and the 'poshest nosh' in Edgbaston.

But the city's culinary map could be redrawn after a campaign was launched to halt the spread of swanky eateries in the leafy suburb.

Top-of-the-range dishes have become more than just a flavour of the month in Edgbaston in recent years, as award-winning restaurants such as Jessica's and Simpsons put the city on the international culinary map.

But one local councillor is aiming to get 'posh nosh' off the menu, in order to retain Edgbaston's residential character.

Coun Deirdre Alden has objected to an application to change the use of a property in Church Road from a family dwelling to a restaurant.

She said that Edgbaston has enough quality restaurants and that city council planners should channel their efforts in maintaining the quality housing in the district.

Coun Alden (Con Edgbaston) said: "There are already a number of restaurants in Edgbaston and I do not feel there is a need for any more.

"We want a variety of things in Edgbaston, but there are already a number of very good, well-renowned restaurants.

"It is good that we have these excellent restaurants and am not complaining that they are there. But we do not need another one. I want to keep the area residential."

The building at the centre of the row is owned by Calthorpe Estates, who have been contacted by an individual who is interested in setting up a restaurant in Edgbaston.

Coun Alden also objected to the plan because of the increase in traffic caused by the staff and 50 customers which the restaurant backers aim to attract.

She also said that residents' lives would be made a misery with "cooking smells" coming from the site.

Concerns were also raised by the councillor that the leafy Edwardian character of Edgbaston could be under threat.

Much of the local housing stock in the neighbourhood is made up of old, white Edwardian buildings which can house large families.

Coun Alden, who is also the Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for the Edgbaston constituency, said: "We need to keep a housing stock of nice, executive top-of-the-range houses which are obviously in demand because prices can go up to #1 million."

She called on Calthorpe Estate to put the Church Road property on the market for residential use. Other top restaurants in Edgbaston include J Jays Indian restaurant at the Five Ways Shopping Centre, and The Bay Tree and the Italian Ristorante Pinocchio on Chad Square.

A spokeswoman from Calthorpe Estates said consultation has been carried out with residents living near to the property on Church Road.

The building is located in the commercial district of Edgbaston and has rarely been lived in over the past 50 years, the spokeswoman added. Previously, the building has been used as a sales office, a dental surgery and a charity headquarters.

The spokeswoman said: "Valuation surveyors and two independent agents all advised that the property was no longer viable for residential use due to its location adjacent to a large electrical sub-station and above a brick tunnel over a railway and canal.

"A restaurant use was recommended as the most appropriate use. The new restaurant will be of the highest quality.

"Calthorpe Estates is proud of its premier residential and commercial districts and is dedicated to the continual investment in the Estate to ensure the continual delivery of first-class work and lifestyle facilities for all residents."

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