Calls to restore fire-wrecked Brownhills pub The Rising Sun
Calls have been made to restore a disused pub which has been the target of arsonists and vandals back to its former glory – ten years after it shut its doors.
The Rising Sun pub, on the A5 Chester Road, in Brownhills, was boarded up in 2008 and its doors have not reopened since.
In October, it was was hit by a 'severe' blaze which ripped through the building and destroyed the building's roof.
It isn't the first time that firefighters have been called to the once thriving pub after an arson attack in 2011, with metal thieves repeatedly targeting the building – leaving a £2,5000 train of damage in April 2017.
There is believed to have been a pub on the site since 1769 and it was once one of the longest-established pubs in the region.
Councillor Ken Ferguson, who represents the Brownhills ward, would like to see the 'derelict' pub brought back into commercial use.
"It's the first thing people see when travelling from Cannock – that's the landmark for Walsall.
"The pub used to be quite a popular pub, restaurant and hotel," he said. "It is a shame it's got into the state that the pub is in.
"If it can be brought back into commercial use that's viable that would be the best option. It is an area that could be developed but it isn't the best site for the development of housing because of the nature of the highways nearby.
"It would be better if it was kept as a commercial property. There are various restaurants and pubs that make a living still from that sort of thing."
The building was owned by Marston’s and was sold in 2009 to Eastern Leisure Ltd but a mooted makeover failed to materialise.
It is not known who currently owns the building.
Councillor Ferguson feels that given the prominent location of the site, it would be an ideal place to run a successful business.
He added: "I would have thought there's a possibility of it sustaining a life with it being on the main A5 Chester Road.
"The building has been hit by arsonists but if there's an empty building it's going to attract that sort of person to it. They'll start hanging around by it and it escalates into what kind of fun they seek from it. One of the people might happen to be an arsonists and it goes from there.
"It was rumoured that there was some planning application being sort for it but I checked with planning and there was nothing as of last month.
"Even if the site was level, it wouldn't be such an eyesore and a distraction to undesirable activities."