The Victorian Society’s listing application for The Old Windmill pub in Birmingham was rejected on the 21st of May. This leaves the pub, the last on the historic Dudley Road, at risk of demolition despite a recent notification of demolition being withdrawn.
An application for prior notification of demolition was submitted by Birmingham City Council on the 26th April 2021, but was recently withdrawn. The Victorian Society hopes that the historic pub on Dudley Road can be retained and brought back to use as soon as possible. However, the building is still at risk as unlisted buildings outside a conservation area can be demolished under permitted development rights without the need for a full planning application. Historic England say that the building is ‘of local interest’ and reflects the ‘development of the area’.
The building is the last historic pub on Dudley Road, used as the main route between Birmingham and the Black Country throughout the 19th century. The road, an old center of the city’s business community nicknamed the ‘golden mile’ used to have thirty pubs along it. Now the last historic pub is under threat from the city council. Birmingham City Council declared a climate emergency in June 2019 and made the pledge to become net zero carbon by 2030. If it is serious about achieving this it must stop plans to wastefully demolish, rather than re-use, historic buildings.
Tim Bridges, Conservation Officer for the Society says ‘We are disappointed that our listing application for The Old Windmill pub was declined. Nevertheless The Old Windmill has considerable historic and heritage value but is now very vulnerable. We urge Birmingham City Council to work towards putting the building back into use especially given the city’s promotion of its clean air zone and environmental agenda’