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WOLVERHAMPTON: Derelict pub facing demolition in flats plan

WOLVERHAMPTON: Derelict pub facing demolition in flats plan

Photo: Google Street View.

A derelict former pub in Wolverhampton that has become a hotbed of anti-social behaviour could be torn down to make way for new flats.

The Rookery Tavern in Wood Street, Lanesfield, which has been closed for more than five years, is facing demolition under new plans to build an apartment block consisting of 24 new flats in its place.

Situated in the middle of a housing estate, the boarded-up building has become generally neglected and an eyesore in recent years with people regularly dumping litter on the site.

Known locally as ‘the Rook’, the pub was known for regularly hosting meetings of the English Defence League (EDL) before finally closing in 2014.

It was also well-known for its community events, charity fundraisers and pool, dominoes and darts teams.

An application to demolish the building and replace it with a new housing block has now been made by developer Mohammed Adeel from Saltley, Birmingham.

A design, access and planning statement submitted with the application said: “The pub has been closed for around five years and was previously listed as an asset of community value in July 2015.

“Notwithstanding the community listing, in the intervening period the site has exhibited signs of anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and general neglect.

“The current Covid-19 situation has effectively reduced the pub returning to a viable business as virtually zero, together with the fact the local planning authority has previously granted permission to allow its conversion to flats and a pair of semi-detached houses.

“As a result, there is now an overwhelming case for supporting the demolition of the pub and allowing the redevelopment of the site to a productive and socially beneficial residential use.

“The replacement of the pub with housing will not negatively impact community facilities.

“On the contrary, new residents occupying the site will help ensure the long-term survival of the existing and remaining facilities,” added the report.

“From this perspective, the proposal represents the successful recycling of derelict land where the benefits clearly outweigh any perceived harm.”

A report by The Coal Authority said the property was in an area where it believed there was coal at or close to the surface.

“The potential presence of coal workings at or close to the surface should be considered prior to any site works or future development activity.

“This coal may have been worked at some time in the past,” said the report.

It added that despite this, the site was not at risk of subsidence.

Wolverhampton Council planning bosses are due to make a decision on the application in the near future.

Words: Joe Sweeney, Local Democracy Reporter


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