A PLANNING application to build more than 200 homes at the expense of one of the borough’s most popular nights out has been submitted to Birmingham City Council.
Hall Green Greyhound Stadium has stood tall in the north of the borough since August 1927, however nine decades of history could be ended if stadium owners, Euro Property Investments, receive planning permission to build on the site.
The application put forward proposes the development of up to 210 dwellings and a children’s play area – this comes two years after Euro Property Investments purchased the site for £3 million.
Opened in 1927, the stadium is home to Greyhound Racing, which takes place four times a week, a hotel, snooker club and a conference centre.
The venue attracts 200,000 visitors each year and currently employs 200 people on full and part-time basis.
The Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) has a 15-year lease on the stadium which will keep Greyhound Racing at the Hall Green venue until 2028.
However a clause when Euro Property Investment purchased the site in 2014, agreed that if they received planning permission within the first five years of purchase, they can bulldoze the stadium to make way for housing.
Though no building work will take place on the site for at least 30 months, Stephen Rea – former general manager at Hall Green Greyhound Stadium, is determined to prevent the end of nine decades of history and the employment of 200 people.
Stephen is currently leading a petition to block Euro Property Investment’s planning application and told The Observer that to shut down Hall Green Greyhound Stadium would be a “criminal offence” and only benefit the site owners.
Stephen said: “People are going to lose their jobs and the proposed 210 houses will make no difference to Birmingham as a city – but shutting down Hall Green stadium will make a difference.
“Only the other day plans were announced to build 3,000 new homes in Edgbaston up the road so to develop on Hall Green stadium would only benefit the stadium owners and not the community.
“Hall Green stadium is a profitable business, I don’t understand why people would want to build on it and end 90 years of history.”
Stephen has written to councillors and Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff about the situation and will hand over a petition to the council within the next month with the signature of thousands of people to save the stadium.
He added: “Demolishing Hall Green Stadium to make way for houses is no different to knocking down the Cadbury’s site and turning that into houses too.
“Euro Property Investment haven’t considered the suppliers network we have, the hundreds of people the stadium employs, the trainers, owners and greyhounds themselves.
“If the 200 homes do go up, where are people going to go for a night out in Hall Green?
“Euro Investment Property have used the term ‘Brownfield Site’ in their planning application – how can it be a brownfield site when it’s not wasteland, the company are saying they can improve the area and they can’t.
“Building houses will have an impact on traffic flow, schools, medical centres – the council should be protecting heritage.”
Euro Property Investments said the redevelopment of Hall Green Greyhound Stadium provided the opportunity to consolidate the offer at Perry Barr Stadium to ensure the future of greyhound racing in the city.
They added: “The proposals will provide much-needed new family homes including affordable housing to increase choice and meet demand in the Hall Green area.
“The scheme will positively redevelop a brownfield site, providing investment for the area and benefits for the local community in which the site is located.”