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All change as old pub in Bilston becomes new home

By Megan Archer | Bilston | News | Published:

On the outside it looks just like your traditional Black Country pub.

But look closely, the inside has been completely refitted to serve as an 11-bedroom care home.

The historic Oak & Ivy in Bilston has long been closed down, but still bears the traditional swinging pub sign and lettering on its outside.

And now the Oxford Street taproom has appeared on property website Prime Location, at a going rate of £6,000 per month.

Estate agents have said it could be a suitable site to care for elderly people or those with learning difficulties.

The description of the property on Prime Location reads: "The building is in excellent condition and the change of use and renovation have been carried out to an exceptional quality, with robust materials for longevity.

"The ideal occupier will be a company providing care services via the local authority such as transitional care, learning difficulties, elderly care."

After being empty for several years, the Wolverhampton tavern was renovated in early 2016 and planning permission granted for a change of use to HMO shortly after. The conversion was then complete in April 2016.

The interior looks far from that of a traditional inn. It has instead been made over with cream and orange walls, blue carpets, and basic modern utilities. Fire doors are fitted throughout the property, with the building designed to be a home for multiple people living communally rather than separate apartments.

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The ground floor consists of an entrance area, six bedrooms with an ensuite bathroom and kitchenette each, and a communal kitchen, while the first floor boasts five bedrooms, again with the same facilities.

Councillor Stephen Simkins, who represents Bilston East for Wolverhampton council said he was happy for the building to go through a change of use, but hoped it would be managed correctly.

He said: "It's been closed for a few years now and I don't think it's ever been occupied.

"I'd be happy for it to be one bed flats or bedsits as we always need more housing. But it is another pub we've lost. I can remember what it was like as a pub. It was ok to be fair, but pubs generally suffer these days - they're beaten by supermarkets and it's cheaper to drink at home. But I really like a good, genuine pub.

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"In the end, I'm happy for it to be used as what it's planned for, even though a care home will come with its own problems. It's how it's managed."

Experts have said the former pub does not have to be used as the full 11 bedrooms as listed, and have suggested a lounge and office could also be formed.

The landlord would maintain the external façade and roof and provide buildings insurance, while the new tenant would look after the internal areas and provide their own contents insurance, cover council tax, water and electricity, and TV licence.

There will also be an entrance area with mounted post boxes, well-lit communal corridors, double glazed windows and fully fitted carpet.

CCTV is included and as well as prepaid electric meters based in a newly formed cupboard by the entrance in the corridor.

The property is being marketed by Royal Estates in Birmingham and is available from November 1 this year.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Deputy Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Deputy Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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