Plans for drive-thru KFC at historic Northfield pub WITHDRAWN


Developers have withdrawn plans to turn an historic Northfield pub into a fried chicken drive-thru.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.

The Emerald

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Other applications withdrawn

During last year, owners submitted 4 applications for a care home and one for 10 homes at the site, all of which were withdrawn before being put before planning committee.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.”


  1. Good news, but the cynic in me suggests this grand old pub will go the same “mysterious” way as the Cock Inn did in Rubery a year or so ago – arson!

  2. I don’t know why someone don’t turn it back into a pub there ain’t that many left now they all turning into restaurant or shops or burned down, we need something with a bit of life maybe a over 30’s pub perhaps no offence to the under 30’s we need something for us oldens 😉

  3. Next thing to happen is it will burn down leaving property companies to make a fortune building so called apartments which is what Birmingham council have wanted all along with all the back handers that come with it Just look what happened to the Cock inn

  4. I totally agree with Tina Taylor , turn it back into a pub for the over 30’s we could really use another pub in Northfield they are all dying out so fast , just wish I had the money lol I would but it and make it back into the great pub it used to be . B.Connolly

  5. As Longbridge town centre still hasn’t got a restaurant (not counting pub food) it would be good to see something like a Bella Italia or a similar more up market chain restaurant. Surely with all the development nearby a decent restaurant would attract regular customers?

  6. BCC advise that any planning application needs to utilize all of the upstairs rooms, which, in practice, means that an application for a pub or restaurant will not get approval, because that would only utilize downstairs and also because of traffic congestion. Moreover, given that it is a Grade II listed building, any conversion needs to preserve this status, which is not possible with the above suggestions.

    The more pressing problem is the deterioration of the site and structure which the community needs to deal with by getting action from BCC, before another arson attack occurs


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.