Express & Star

Plans to demolish 'struggling' Walsall pub and replace it with apartment block

The future of a struggling pub which was heavily impacted by Covid-19 is expected to be decided by council chiefs in the new year.

The pub could be demolished and replaced with flats. Photo: Walsall Council

Plans have been put forward to demolish the Crown Inn on Long Acre Street, Walsall, near the town centre, and replace it with a block of 14 apartments, along with undercroft parking and cycle storage.

The 14 apartments would be made up of eight one-bed flats, three two-bed homes and three studio flats.

The application states the number of customers using the pub has fallen and never recovered since Covid-19 and replacing it would be beneficial.

And it has been revealed a likely date for the decision over the site's future is likely to be taken on January 11 next year, according to Walsall chiefs.

The application said: "The proposals seek to produce a historically delicate, high quality residential development on the site of the existing PH, with the intention to negate any negative impact on the surrounding listed buildings.

"The proposal seeks to create a development that is befitting of the site’s locality, which sits on the border between a predominately residential and industrial/commercial area, whilst reintroducing an invigorated active frontage along Long Acre Street.

"The demand and viability of the public house is none existent particularly given the current economic climate of the country and the housing shortage we currently face. The redevelopment presents the opportunity for regeneration of the site and the wider area through the creation of much needed high-quality homes."

The pub could be demolished and replaced with flats. Photo: Walsall Council

The application adds the current state of the building adds to its "existing decline" and the redevelopment of the pub is not economically viable.

“For this reason, the redevelopment of the public house is not economically viable for the applicant as they would require a good level of business which has since dispersed to other venues within the local area to the inability to modernise in the post-pandemic era," it said.

“As the site currently stands, the opportunity for redevelopment allows the opportunity to enhance natural surveillance within the area and to complete the redevelopment of the whole site improving the overall street character.

“We feel that our proposal demonstrates a suitable response to the sensitivity of the area whilst also ensuring there is a not a detrimental effect on the local community.”

The planning application can be found on Walsall Council's planning portal, application number 22/1428.