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Former Staffordshire swingers club denied listed status

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A former sex club will not become a listed building after councillors rejected calls from a neighbouring authority.

Brewood and Coven Parish Council wanted Old Hall, on the A5 at Ivetsey Bank, to be listed but Wheaton Aston Council overwhelmingly rejected the plans.

The 18th century Old Hall used to host Utopia, a popular adult venue for couples who would swap partners and use the venue's 15-metre heated indoor swimming pool, 16-person jacuzzi and sauna and steam room.

But Utopia dissolved in 2007 and the building has remained derelict ever since, with the site now boarded up with blacked out windows and in a run-down state.

Before Utopia, Old Hall used to be a health spa.

Brewood and Coven council wanted it to be listed because of the current state of the building, which they consider to be a gateway into Bishops Wood.

They said it would help restore Old Hall to its former glory.

But after seeking advice, Wheaton Aston councillors opted not to apply for the building to be listed, largely due to the concerns over the restrictions it would place on any future buyer.

Debra Bate, Wheaton Aston's parish council manager, said: "Brewood and Coven asked if we would consider applying to have the building listed as they were disappointed with the way the building looked.

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"Our parish council took some advice and based on that advice decided not to apply to have the building listed. This was mainly because the advice we got was that when you have a building listed any buyer that wants to do work to the building has to adhere to a lot more restrictions and laws, so having it listed makes it more difficult for a potential buyer.

"If you want someone to do something up but then impose a load of restrictions then it becomes less appealing.

"You don't want to make it difficult for any buyer to come along and buy the building.

"It's not up to our parish council to make the decision over where it should be a listed building or not, it was just Brewood and Coven wanted us to apply."

Chairwoman Barbara cox added: "What is the point of putting a preservation order on it? It has no architectural significance and I wouldn't even say it was a portal to Bishops Wood."

If Old Hall was listed it would mean it would be of special architectural or historic interest and various new rules and laws would be placed around potential work on the building.

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