Gloom in Red House campaign

Campaigners look set to lose their fight against plans to convert the Red House in Great Barr and build new homes next to it.

Gloom in Red House campaign

The proposals have been backed by planning officers at Sandwell Council despite objections lodged by concerned residents. People living near the Grade II listed site have protested over developer R8 Space Ltd's plans to convert the landmark former care home.

The scheme involves eight two-bedroom apartments in the main building and a new block of six homes.

The building is currently owned by the council, but would be sold if planning permission was approved. Councillors will make a final decision at a meeting on February 11 after a visit to the site. Backing the scheme, Sandwell Council planning officer Christine Phillips said: "In my opinion the proposals should be welcomed.

"The Red House is of significant local historical interest but has been in decline for some years and there is an urgent need to seek its restoration.

"The new block presents minimal development which would be built on previously developed, unsightly land that detracts from the appearance of the building," she added in the report.

Chairman of the Friends of Red House Park group, Bill Gunn, today called on campaigners to turn out to object against the development. He is asking people to speak to councillors and council officers when they arrive for a site visit at 12.45pm ahead of the planning meeting on Wednesday.

The terraced houses would be close to the house, fronting on to Hill Lane. In the planning application submitted GR8 Space said: "The general design of the building is traditional, taking the form of a stable-block."

Money raised by building the new block will help pay for restoration work at the home, the developer says.

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