A CONTROVERSIAL planning proposal to demolish the historic Cock Inn pub in Rubery has been refused by Birmingham City Council planners.

Built in 1811, The Cock Inn is one of Rubery's oldest pubs, but was closed down more than two years ago.

The current owners of the Rubery Lane site applied for permission to develop the pub into eight detached and four semi-detached houses in June this year.

But Unique Pub Properties and Malvern Estates PLC were refused permission to build the 12 homes, due to issues with vehicle circulation and nature preservation.

Planners found that the proposed facilities for vehicle circulation and manoeuvring were inadequate, and would force drivers to reverse onto the adjacent highway, which could injure pedestrians and other drivers.

The proposal also involved the removal of several trees on the site, which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

Planners decided that the loss of these trees would have a strong negative impact on the look of the area.

Councillor Andy Cartwright, who is heritage champion for the area, held a public meeting in June with concerned residents to discuss the proposal.

He said: “This shows how seriously the planning department take these issues. The trees need to be included in the build, they can’t just be knocked down.”

But Cllr Cartwright said he would welcome the owners to make another revised application.

“Structurally the building is not safe,” he added. “And for someone like this to come along and make something of it, I would welcome that. But they need to listen to local residents’ concerns and follow the rules of planning.

“The building has got history and it should be remembered.”