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Planners refuse to back plans to demolish landmark Black Country pub

Dudley | News | Published:

A bid to demolish a landmark pub that was bought for £1.3 million on a gateway into the Black Country faces being thrown out after council planners refused to back the scheme.

Jahorina wants to flatten the King Arthur pub on the corner of Birmingham New Road and Priory Road, Dudley.

The developer believes the 1930s building does not have a viable future as a pub and the site would be better used as the site for a new store.

But planning officers at Dudley Council are recommending the proposals are refused by councillors, who will discuss the scheme next week.

They say the 'economic benefits' of a new business on the site 'do not outweigh the loss of a landmark locally listed building'.

Case officer Faisal Agha said: "The King Arthur public house is a local landmark occupying a gateway position into Dudley.

"The proposal to demolish it would result in the total loss of the significance of the heritage asset."

History enthusiasts have written to Dudley Council to lodge objections to the proposals.

The Twentieth Century Society says the building is of distinctive local importance and should be preserved.

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George Blackham of Sedgley Local History Society said the pub was 'fine example of a road-house' and suggested it could be redeveloped while keeping the original facade.

"If the plans to demolish the King Arthur are rejected that would be welcome news and might pave the way for a more imaginative project," he said.

"My preferred option is to convert the present building into apartments with additional accommodation sympathetically added to the site.

"Of course the reopening as a public house would be the ideal solution, but this is unrealistic in the present financial climate."

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Chairman of St John's Church Preservation Group, which is working to restore the church in Kates Hill, Deb Brownlee has lodged an objection along with Christine Buckley, of All Saints Vicarage in Sedgley.

But there has also been letters of support for redevelopment of the site.

And Castle and Priory ward councillor Ken Finch has backed the site being used for a new purpose saying it was currently an 'eyesore' on an important entrance to the town.

The pub, built in 1939 by Dudley architects Webb and Gray, closed in 2012. English Heritage decided against listed status due to loss of original features.

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