A developer wants to turn a historic former bingo hall into a restaurant and banqueting hall – after claiming there was nowhere serving “international standard” food on one of Birmingham’s busiest high streets.
Javid Sattar wants to transform the former Gala Bingo building, on Kings Heath High Street, into a venue capable of hosting weddings and conferences for 300 diners and up to 400 guests.
But he caused a stir when, addressing a Birmingham City Council ward committee meeting, Mr Sattar said: “We are trying to create a world class restaurant in Kings Heath.”
According to Mr Sattar’s planning application, a new balcony would be created at the Art Deco building, which dates from the 1920s. Alcohol would not be served and the distinctive neo-classical style exterior of the much-loved site would not be altered.
But campaigners have opposed the scheme, claiming wedding guests arriving in cars could cause gridlock on neighbouring streets.
Claire Spencer, a civic group member, told the Kings Heath and Moseley Ward Committee meeting: “It would be wonderful to see the building brought back into use but a banqueting hall would bring people to the area whereas, with a bingo hall, people would have walked.”