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Anger over state of former Heath Town Baths and Library

By Liam Keen | Heath Town | News | Published:

The "disgraceful" treatment of a former Black Country hot spot has come under fire from local residents.

The building

The former Heath Town baths and library in Wolverhampton has been closed for 15 years and despite being earmarked for regeneration, it has been left to fall into disrepair.

The Grade II listed building sits on Tudor Road close to the Holy Trinity Church and surrounded by residential homes but has been left unused since its closure in 2003.

How the site once looked

A number of plans for the site have failed since it's closure, including an attempt by three Black Country Olympians to turn the site into a sports academy in 2010.

Wolverhampton Council also marketed the site as part of its regeneration plans in 2016 but progress has stalled, infuriating residents.

Now, the site is covered in overgrown hedges and is a target for anti-social behaviour and residents are calling on a solution with the council's plans for the building still unclear.

The building

Neil Prosser who lives on Tudor Road opposite the derelict site, said: "There are needles, sleeping bags, dirt and faeces everywhere, it's a blight on the area.

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"Homeless people sleep under the arches and take drugs, teenagers mess around in the area and throw stones at the building - it's a disgrace.

"It's an absolute mess and the council have just washed their hands of it. No one is taking responsibility for it and we have no idea what is happening.

The baths

"We have pensioners living on this street and they wouldn't want to walk past it at night, it's not safe. We've had numerous promises from the council and everything has gone silent.

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"If the building was demolished that would mean more houses, but we've already had new builds on this road that are not in keeping with the original houses here. Our view of the church would be blocked by more houses and it would ruin the area, we want the building put back into use the way it used to be."

Ward Councillor Milkinderpal Jaspal said: "It's true that something needs to be done with this site and the council have wasted money on a number of proposals over the years.

"I want it turned into residential homes, perhaps bungalows that won't block any views and that are in keeping with the area would be the most feasible option.

"My question is what do the residents actually want? They've refused every proposal. I sympathise with their views but we need to follow the policy and guidance of people involved in the planning and do something with the site.

"I don't agree that the area isn't safe. I've never heard about pensioners feeling unsafe there and the school is far enough away to not have an impact. There are properties next to and opposite the site so I don't understand why people think it's unsafe."

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319688.

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