An historic tram depot, formally home to a bus museum, will become the venue of a new market despite protests from local residents.
City planners thought a market was an ideal use for the cavernous Victorian building across the road from Villa Park in Witton Lane, Aston.
They heard that the temporary stalls would not harm the cobbles, tram tracks, service pits and other historic features which enjoy legal protection under a Grade II English Heritage listing.
Last year the Aston Manor Transport Museum was controversially evicted from the city council-owned depot.
It could not afford the £45,000-a-year rent, and its offer of £300,000 to buy the depot fell well short of the council’s asking price.
Planning committee member Councillor Bob Beauchamp (Con, Erdington) said that while it was sad that the museum had gone, the building was well suited to a market.
“It is a listed building and with market stalls there will be no fooling about with the historic fabric of this building.
‘‘It is an ideal use.”
The committee had heard protests from the Witton Residents Group and Aston Heritage Network.
Network spokesman Nigel Cripps said the building was a rare example of a Victorian tram shed which has not been altered or modernised which is why it is protected by English Heritage.
He questioned whether the building could house a market.
“The market will suffer the same operational difficulties as the museum. It will require substantial alteration to make it fit for purpose.”
Fears were also raised by residents over potential problems with traffic and deliveries, difficulties of opening on Aston Villa match days and the impact on existing independent shops.
Alan Garnett, representing the market, said: “We have no intentions of carrying out any alterations either inside or outside the property.”
He added that ten jobs would be created by the market and confirmed that the stalls would not be fixed, thus preserving the cobbled floor.
The committee insisted that no gaudy signs should be allowed to spoil the appearance of the depot.