A COUPLE who have spent more than £60k refurbishing a landmark art deco Old Hill venue have hit out at Sandwell Council over its refusal to let them use an empty car park opposite.

Sandip and Dalveer Gillar opened The Regis on Reddall Hill Road as Luxor Events, which stages events such as weddings and children's birthday parties, in June 2023.

They want to rent or buy the council-owned car park on Haden Road opposite the venue, but the council has refused saying "the car park is not maintained to the required standard for use as a public car park" and the site could be used for housing.

Frustrated Sandip and Dalveer say the council's refusal to let them use it is affecting their business. 

Halesowen News: The council-run car park is blocked with mounds of earthThe council-run car park is blocked with mounds of earth (Image: Handout)

The car park has been laying empty since they took over and now has concrete blocks across the entrance and mounds of earth filling spaces.

The couple handed out free children's presents and hot food and drinks to people in need on Christmas Eve and say they want to work with the community to make the business a success.

The Regis closed in June 2022 after the previous tenants had their premises licence revoked by Sandwell Council over noise complaints.

Halesowen News: Concrete blocks across the entrance of the car park opposite the venueConcrete blocks across the entrance of the car park opposite the venue (Image: Handout)

Sandip, aged 36, said: "We are an events company so we have 200/300 people arriving and leaving at the same time - can you imagine the pressure on the community - we get complaints from people saying they have been blocked in - but where can we ask them to park?

"It's so stressful.

"The car park is just sitting there because they don't want to let us use it.

"We are willing to pay to rent it or even buy it for a reasonable amount, but they have shut doors on it. It would be the best move for the community.

"If it carries on like this we will be another business suffering - we have spent so much money on the place."

Halesowen News: The car park is opposite Luxor The car park is opposite Luxor (Image: Handout)

A Sandwell Council spokesperson said: “We have had extensive contact with the owners of Luxor about the future use of the car park and have very clearly explained the council’s position to them.

“The car park is not currently maintained to the required standard for use as a public car park and it has therefore been secured to prevent members of the public gaining access in the interim.

“There are two public car parks less than 100 metres located on Highgate Street, which is only a short walk from the venue.

“The council has a duty to make best use of its assets and we are currently considering this site along with other locations for development as part of a comprehensive scheme to support the ever-increasing local and national demand for housing.

“The council is committed to supporting local businesses as much as possible and a meeting has been arranged later this month to discuss this matter with Luxor.”