Residents who live close to a former golf course in Northfield contacted B31 Voices last week when they were concerned to see a 20 metre tall metal telecoms mast being put up on the site (Thursday 7th June). 

Uncertain future

The site of the former North Worcestershire Golf Club in Hanging Lane has been at the centre of rumours and planning disagreements for a number of years, with the club finally closing its gates in April 2016 due to “financial difficulties“.

Developers Bloor Homes and the management of the club are currently waiting to see if the government’s Planning Inspectorate will accept their appeal and overturn Birmingham City Council planning committee’s decision to reject their application for a 950 home development, including a school and community building, on the site.

Clubhouse demolition

The site has had a few issues since the closure of the club, including trespassers, travellers and most recently an arson attack on the former clubhouse.

Following the fire, which destroyed much of the roof and upper floor, permission was granted to demolish the building.

Existing telecoms equipment

The building has not yet been demolished, but it turns out that a mobile phone company has telecommunications equipment on the building – the loss of which could cause issues for some service users.

EE has had equipment concealed in false chimney pots on the roof of the clubhouse and in a flagpole since 2012.

Mast being placed

‘Temporary’ mast

With the demolition of the building approved and presumably imminent, EE have erected a temporary 20m telecommunications mast with associated equipment on the site – a move that does not require planning permission.

A spokesperson for EE said: “We can confirm this is a temporary EE mast. It hasn’t required planning permission as the application has been submitted under emergency planning law to ensure our customers’ service is not interrupted whilst works are being completed on the existing site.”

The spokesperson also confirmed that a temporary installation can be approved for up to 18 months.

Appeal ongoing

The examination of Bloor Homes’ appeal to the Planning Inspectorate regarding the proposed future development of the site for housing is ongoing, with an inquiry set to take place in Birmingham in October this year (pdf schedule).

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