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SALTLEY GATE: Restaurant plan for 'eyesore' pub; MP and traders say run-down site is blighting business area.

Byline: By Andy Shipley

OWNERS of a run-down old pub, dubbed a contender for Birmingham's worst eyesore, have pledged to turn it into a new restaurant within a year.

The Birmingham Mail told last week how the wrecked former Tilt Hammer at Saltley Gate has stood empty for six years - hit by arson, vandalism and flyposters.

Nearby traders and MP Clare Short want the building back in use to stop it blighting the gateway to Alum Rock Road and its bustling small stores and businesses.

Today the Mail can reveal that brothers Shabir Hussain and Aslam Abbas, owners of the Karachi Fried Chicken restaurant in Highgate Road, Sparkhill, bought the Tilt Hammer site for pounds 100,000 in 2001. Mr Hussain says he plans to demolish the pub and turn it into a pounds 500,000 restaurant similar to the Karachi, with work set to start in February"We were hoping to start work on it by July this year, but we had problems and it never happened," said Mr Hussain. "Now we've got the problem of bad weather so we can't start yet"We hope to begin demolishing the building in February and take it from there. It'll be something like the Karachi."

Mr Hussain said he had received offers for the Tilt Hammer from traders in Alum Rock Road but had rejected them.

Ms Short has written to the city council's planning department to ask if anything can be done to speed up the process of developing the Tilt Hammer site.

"I'm aware of the state of the site and it's a disgrace. It drags down what is a thriving area of small businesses," added Ms Short

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ARSON AND VANDALISM... The former Tilt Hammer pub in Saltley Gate, which has stood empty for six years
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 15, 2005
Words:299
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