Plans for Prince of Wales pub in Shirley to become a care home

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Green party councillor objects to the plans saying: “Shirley has become dominated by new retirement homes.”

A vacant Shirley pub could become the site of another new care home after plans were submitted to the council last week. The Prince of Wales on the far western side of Shirley High Street failed to reopen after the Covid-19 pandemic, but developers now hope to turn the former pub into a 72-bed care facility for the elderly.

The Prince of Wales has been vacant for over two years now after its business was heavily impacted by the pandemic. The building has fallen into a state of disrepair and has been targeted by anti-social behaviour, drawing complaints from locals. Should the application be successful, the new care facility would contain a café, dining room, hairdressing salon, cinema room, gym and library, as well as 72 bedrooms.

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Prince of Wales pub on Shirley High StreetPrince of Wales pub on Shirley High Street
Prince of Wales pub on Shirley High Street | Google Maps

Further dining rooms, lounges and libraries would be spread around the first and second floors. A courtyard garden would be built at the back of the home, as would an area of green space for what planning documents call Green Care Farming.

This would allow residents to grow fruit and vegetables, and keep livestock such as goats, pigs, miniature cattle and chickens. Developers claim within planning documents that a care home is ‘much needed’ in the area.

However, this statement is not universally accepted and has caused some councillors to speak out. Cllr Alison Wilson is a Green Party member for Shirley West and is unhappy with the scheme.

She said: “This application for another retirement home is not what the local area needs. Shirley has become dominated by new retirement homes. The residents at who these homes are targeted are crying out for affordable homes for their children and grandchildren.”

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The application is the latest in a string of bids to build care homes in and around Shirley. The ‘glut’ of care homes in the area drew comment from councillors earlier this year.

Care home plans for the Prince of Wales pub in ShirleyCare home plans for the Prince of Wales pub in Shirley
Care home plans for the Prince of Wales pub in Shirley | LDRS

Cllr Mark Parker (Cons, Shirley East) told the LDRS in June that Shirley is in danger of becoming ‘the Las Vegas of Care homes’, while Cllr Maggie Allen (Greens, Shirley West) questioned the need for ‘so many’ care homes in Shirley after an application to turn the former Shirley Morrisons into a home for the elderly was refused in March 2022.

The former pub site sits on the border between two local planning authorities. Identical applications have been sent to both Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Bromsgrove District Council.

Planning consultancy firm Cerda Planning has submitted the application on behalf of Birmingham-based GNM Developments, a real estate company that specialises in student accommodation and care homes.

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A planning fee of £23,549 has been paid to Solihull council. A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “As this is a major planning application, the council gets 13 weeks to determine the application. The current deadline date is 21 November.” The LDRS has contacted GNM Developments for a comment.

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