Developers have withdrawn plans to turn an historic Northfield pub into a fried chicken drive-thru.
Splendid Restaurants Colonel, a subsidiary of the Splendid Hospitality Group, owns 18 KFC stores and had submitted proposals to Birmingham City Council to turn the former King George V pub as a drive-thru restaurant.
The plans received a mixed reaction from the local community with some excited and others worried about congestion and character, among other issues.
Kings George V Pub
The King George V public house was built un 1935 for Mitchell and Butlers, designed by John Burgess Surman in a Jacobean domestic revival style. Rendered in brick with ashlar plinths, with mullion windows, gables and arched doorways, the public house was Grade II listed in 2001.
In recent years it was used as as a popular Chinese restaurant, and is still referred to by many as “The Emerald”.
King Khan controversy
Most recently the building was the King Khan’s Indian restaurant, with the owner causing controversy in 2014 after failing to reach an agreement to continue to be home to the King George V Bowling club, which had been based at the site since 1937. This affected the popularity of the restaurant and it rebranded as the Old King George Balti House in 2016. However, the building was out of use by the beginning of 2017.
Other applications withdrawn
During last year, owners submitted 4 applications for a care home and one for 10 homes at the site, all of which were withdrawn before being put before planning committee.
A KFC outlet opened nearby in Longbridge town centre at the beginning of January.
MP for Northfield, Richard Burden (Labour) said: “The withdrawal of the application to build a KFC on the site of the former King George V is good news.
“I think it would have aggravated congestion problems that are already causing concern at the junction of Tessall Lane and Bristol Road South. I also believe it would have been out of character with the heritage of the building which has been part of Northfield’s urban landscape for so long.
“Of course, I don’t want to see the former King George left empty for longer than absolutely necessary either. I therefore very much hope that expressions of interest come forward to put the building to use in ways that visually preserve its heritage.”