Express & Star

Council recommends empty Smethwick pub is demolished despite objections – here's why

A run-down pub that was forced to close down because it was at risk of collapsing should be demolished and replaced with flats according to a planning report.


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The proposals would see the empty former Waggon and Horses in Smethwick flattened to make way for 11 new homes.

The pub was forced to close in August 2021 with Sandwell Council fearing the dilapidated building was at risk of ‘total’ collapse.

Sandwell Council’s planning committee meets in Oldbury on June 26 with a recommendation from the authority’s planning department the plan should be approved.

The former Waggon And Horses in Lewisham Road Road, Smethwick

A total of 28 objections were made after the plans were submitted – largely over the lack of car parking spaces.

The council’s planning department said the move would bring “great benefit by regenerating a derelict public house site with much-needed housing.”

A report, which will be discussed by councillors, said the eyesore pub had been the subject of “numerous” complaints over the years and its owner was recently served with an untidy land notice. The council said it had been “actively” working with the building’s owners to demolish the pub.

“As such an application was made for demolition and granted in March 2022,” the report continues. “Unfortunately, the owner has been unwilling to demolish the building until consent is granted for redevelopment. The site is under continuous review as a dangerous structure due to falling stonework and associated masonry. At present, the site has been made secure from any imminent danger to the public.”

The application by Nottingham-based Sir Harry’s Properties includes 11 one-bed flats in a new three-storey block with 11 parking spaces.

The crumbling pub was not only a risk to patrons but passers-by and was fenced off in 2021.

Sandwell Council made several attempts to inspect the building but were brushed off by the pub’s then-owners Jasbinder Singh Kang and Amandeep Singh Shanker.

An inspection carried out by the council before the order was served found dry and wet rot throughout the building with a large leaking hole in the roof.

West Midlands Fire Service, which had raised concerns about the “dangerous condition” of the building in January 2020, accused the pub’s owners of “aggression and abuse” when refusing officers entry to inspect the crumbling building.

The order in 2021 said: “The respondents have done all but nothing to address the problems and the risks to members of the public have increased as the premises has been allowed to become increasingly dilapidated.”

Before its forced closure, the pub on the corner of Lewisham Road and Halfords Lane was a favoured haunt of West Bromwich Albion supporters with it being a short walk from the club’s home ground the Hawthorns.

Sandwell Council’s planners approved an application by Sir Henry Properties to demolish the hole-filled building in March 2022 but the work was never carried

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