Last pint pulled after 200 years as Black Country pub to be turned into flats
A landmark pub is to be transformed into flats – ending 200 years of serving up pints to generations of locals.
Dudley Council has given the green light to convert the historic Bell Hotel in Stourbridge into modern apartments.
The chosen developer, Claremont Property Group, was behind the multi-million pound conversion of the town's Grade II listed Carnegie library into residential flats.
Their latest project will see 14 studio one and two-bed apartments built at the empty three-storey Georgian building next to St Thomas’s Church, on the corner of Bell Street and Market Street.
Andy Robinson, Claremont's business development manager, said: "We are very pleased to be given the opportunity to bring another important Stourbridge landmark back into use.
"This project will breathe new life into The Bell and give homeowners the chance to purchase high-quality, modern living in a way that celebrates the character and traditional features of an historic building.
“We were one of the first developers to see the residential potential in Stourbridge for first-time buyers, professionals on the move and those looking to downsize.
"Although we could have embarked upon a more typical residential development, we wanted to build on the success of The Old Library in the town centre. It has been incredibly popular for those taking their first steps on the property ladder through Help to Buy. We believe there is a clear local demand for purchasing a slice of history.”
Built in 1820, the Old Bell operated as a coaching inn, before becoming a family commercial hotel and posting house with corn exchange vaults.
The venue, which hosted the President’s Annual Spread attended by many of Stourbridge’s leading tradesmen, contained a billiards room with two tables supplied by historic specialists Burroughes and Watts, and a yard and stables.
It also had its own bowling green garden, described as the "finest in the country", which had become the pub’s car park by 1965. Most recently the premises functioned as a nightclub and pub.
In January last year, the landlord was ordered to tighten up security after a vicious brawl erupted at the venue. Police were unable to prosecute as CCTV at the pub had been switched off and staff failed to alert emergency services.
Councillors allowed the premises to remain open on condition pub bosses followed a set of stringent conditions put forward by police. The pub had been taken over by Marstons in January 2017.
Claremont also completed work on the two-year conversion of The Old Library in Hagley Road in July this year and has plans for the multi-million pound residential conversion of an historic former 'flatted factory' in Birmingham city centre.