Review some of our casework between 2010 and 2012.
Proposed major redevelopment by the Town Hall, Grade I, 1830s by Hansom and Welch with alterations of 1837-51 by Charles Edge, and the Council House, Grade II*, 1874-9 by Yeoville Thomason and extension of 1908-9 by Ashley and Newman. We objected to the height and massing of new buildings next to these landmarks of the Victorian city.
Whilst we deferred to the 20th Century Society for detailed comment on conversion of this building, we were strongly opposed to construction of a tall tower on the site, which would compromise the setting of several major Victorian buildings, notably the Law Courts, Grade I, of 1886-91 by Aston Webb and Ingress Bell. Acceptable revised proposals no longer include a tower.
Grade II, of 1870. We had objected to proposals for the almost complete demolition of these fine maltings, which closed in 2005 and were fire damaged in 2009. Consent for this has now been refused by the local authority and we await more sensitive proposals for this significant site.
Grade II, of 1902 by WH Bidlake. We have objected to a proposal to install rooflights and not to rebuild a small extension to this Arts and Crafts house. We also objected to proposals not to rebuild the coach house, and are pleased that the local authority agrees, as consent has been refused. We hope this will be the case with the other two applications.
Grade II, of 1870. These fine maltings closed in 2005. Only two of the distinctive pyramid roofs survive at this Black Country landmark, which continues to deteriorate following severe fire damage in 2009. The current proposal to just restore the smallest of three buildings and demolish the rest is simply too drastic. We have objected, urging more sensitive redevelopment incorporating the restored maltings in their entirety.
Grade II, of 1870-1 by Martin and Chamberlain. We have objected to the planning application for a western extension to this church with a bandstand-like structure, and continue to oppose proposals under faculty for limewashing the fine red brick interior, as well as the removal of most of the remaining Victorian fittings including the pews and font.
Grade II, of 1902 by WH Bidlake. We strongly objected to the application to English Heritage for delisting of this fine grade II* Arts and Crafts house following extensive demolitions and building works on the house and grounds over recent years. Whilst we are disappointed that the listing has in fact been redesignated at grade II, we will continue to closely monitor future planning applications for this site.
Unlisted, but including the former King’s Norton Workhouse of 1872 by Edward Holmes. We have objected to the extent of proposed demolition of Victorian buildings notably the kitchen, dining hall and two ward blocks. The site is adjacent to the Bournville Conservation Area, and we are unconvinced by the design for the proposed redevelopment as housing.
Unlisted, of 1907 by James and Lister Lea. Along with local groups, we have objected to the proposed demolition of this canalside public house, which is still in use, together with its Victorian stables, as part of a supermarket development just outside the King’s Norton Conservation Area.
Unlisted office and warehouse building of 1913 by GE Pepper. We added our strong objections to a considerable local protest against the demolition of this Classical style building, a landmark in the city’s Eastside, but sadly without success. The site of Island House has now been cleared and we remain concerned for the future of other heritage buildings in this area where extensive redevelopment is being planned.
Grade II*, 1903 by WH Bidlake. Concerns for this fine church have grown over recent years. Despite shared use by Anglican and United Reformed congregations and ongoing repairs assisted by English Heritage, closure appears imminent. This may lead to transfer to another church, but the future is far from certain. We have applied for listing of Bidlake’s neighbouring parish hall of 1906.
Grade II*, mainly 1876 by Thomson Plevins. We are now regularly consulted on plans to restore and refurbish this key city centre building as an hotel. Whilst we regret the loss of some of the original roof structure in current proposals, we greatly welcome the thorough restoration of many original features and the return of this building to use, after many years standing empty and under threat of demolition.
Grade II, 1881 by Alexander and Henman. Following our successful application to English Heritage for listing, we await consultation on proposals for the future use of this fine brick building with a wealth of surviving interior features, following its vacation and sale by the city council last year.
Grade II,1882 by Martin and Chamberlain. We objected to proposed extensions and internal alterations to this former hospital chapel to provide thirteen apartments as overdevelopment of the site. Consent was refused by the local authority and we await more suitable plans for this now derelict building.
Grade I, medieval with work of 1873-79 by HR Yeoville Thomasson, 1898 by WH Bidlake, 1914 onwards by CE Bateman. Plans for a glazed west porch have been substantially revised following strong opposition from ourselves and English Heritage. We have no objections to current proposals, but remain opposed to glazed tower doors, and continue to object to elements of the extensive internal reordering plans.
Grade II, 1932 building prominently situated in Steelhouse Lane Conservation Area. We have objected twice to proposals for a thirty storey tower here, which would have a serious impact on the setting of several nearby listed Victorian and Edwardian buildings, notably the superb grade I red terracotta Victoria Law Courts of 1887-91 by Aston Webb and Ingress Bell.
Grade II former bank of 1869 by HR Yeoville Thomasson. We continue to object to plans to add a further storey to the roof structure, despite some design changes. We remain opposed to alterations to the entrances to the fine banking hall, although proposals to use this once again as the building’s central reception area are more encouraging.
Grade II former pub of 1900 by James and Lister Lea. We have objected to the unauthorised removal of fittings from the bar, and are concerned by elements of current plans for mixed residential and restaurant use at the pub. However, we are keen to see appropriate occupation of this vacant building and restoration of its fine tilework, as soon as possible.
Grade II, 1896 by Martin and Chamberlain. We previously objected to an unsympathetic extension on the front of this brick and terracotta Board School. Whilst we are pleased that the school continues in use and this entrance pavilion is no longer proposed, current plans to raise parts of the roof and divide the school hall to create extra classrooms would be damaging overdevelopment of the building.
Grade II*. 1902 W. H. Bidlake. We have objected over the past decade to numerous alterations at this important Arts and Crafts house, which featured in Muthesius’ ‘Das Englische Haus’ in 1908, as we consider they are having a negative impact on the house and the Four Oaks Conservation Area in which it is located. We have recently objected to an application to English Heritage for delisting of the building.
Grade II. Nave and tower 1822 Thomas Rickman, chancel and transepts 1883 J.A.Chatwin. Although rebuilding of the church following a major fire has consent despite our objections to the design, we have commented on plans for the interior and fittings. We are unhappy at plans for remodelling Chatwin’s fire-damaged octagonal columns to circular and await satisfactory proposals for some of Rickman’s cast iron tracery to be removed during rebuilding.
Grade II*. Although the core of this building dates from 1813, it has significant work of 1883 by Cossins, 1868-1876 by Bateman and Corser, and 1860 by Edge, and played a pivotal role in Birmingham’s Victorian gun manufacture. We supported plans to enhance noise insulation to help secure the future of this important institution in the face of proposals for residential development nearby.
Grade II, 1876-7 by Preedy with additions of 1898 by Lloyd and 1904 by Osborn. Whilst we have not objected to plans for closure of this church, we have registered our concern over the future of the contents which include good woodwork and a baptistry by Ford Whitcombe, and stained glass by Pearce of Birmingham and Camm of Smethwick.
Grade I, medieval with work of 1873-79 by HR Yeoville Thomason, 1898 by WH Bidlake, 1914 and after by CE Bateman. Our comments on the extensive reordering of this church have been submitted to the Chancellor and include strong objections to the design for the proposed new glazed entrance next to Bidlake’s vestry and new glazed doors to the tower. We have also objected to the relocation of the chancel furnishings. These comprise the renaissance style woodwork from significant 16th century choir fittings of Worcester Cathedral, as removed during restoration by Scott and then brought to Holy Trinity by the rector in the 1870s, remaining today as arranged at that date. Although under present proposals the woodwork would still remain in the church, the interesting Victorian layout would be lost.
This group of unlisted, mainly derelict Victorian and Edwardian villas is within Barnsley Road Conservation. Despite objections from ourselves and English Heritage consent for demolition of these houses and redevelopment of the site has been granted. Regrettably our application for spot-listing of 324 has been declined. It is believed to be the last house designed by Ernest Barnsley to survive in Birmingham.
Grade II mainly JA and PB Chatwin 1886-1910. Planning permission and a faculty have been granted for the installation of over forty photovoltaic panels on the south facing nave roof. We consider that this would have a negative impact on the church within the conservation area and been consistent in our objections. The outcome is disappointing.
Grade II, 1843 Harvey Eginton with work of 1867-8 by Frederick Preedy, including a finely decorated Neo-Norman chancel. Whilst we were content with most proposals for extensive reordering in this church, we objected to the removal of the fixed rear choir stalls as damaging to the overall appearance of the chancel. Our view has been supported by the Chancellor in his judgement.
Grade II, c1900 by CE Bateman. We objected to the latest proposals for a single storey extension in modern style as inappropriate for this Arts and Crafts house in a conservation area. Any extension should be at the opposite end of the house adjacent to a previously extended service wing rather than prominently placed in the garden. Consent has so far been refused.
Grade II, 1860 by Edward Adams. We objected to the removal of several internal walls to create open plan study areas for the sixth form in the former headmaster’s house of these Jacobean style buildings. Consent has been refused and we hope the school will now consider a less damaging approach to using this part of the school.
Grade I, medieval with work of 1873-79 by H.R.Yeoville Thomason, 1898 by W.H.Bidlake, 1914 and after by C.E.Bateman. We are engaged in consultation on proposed extensions and complete reordering to this important church with historic woodwork, much of which was introduced from Worcester Cathedral and St Michael Coventry following their respective Victorian restorations by G.G.Scott and reworked to fit this church. Following lengthy negotiation current proposals offer retention and reuse of considerably more historic fabric than previously, but we continue to be extremely concerned at the significant impact on Victorian and Edwardian work from plans which include a large new glass entrance structure to the west end, new glazed doors to the tower, the removal of most pews and a gallery and alterations to the chancel, side chapel and vestry fittings.
Grade II, Georgian town house adapted and extended during the 19th and early 20th centuries as a brassware factory, alongside other commercial uses including ginger beer production. We have objected to plans for total demolition of all buildings on the site and continue to press for a viable use to be found for one of the last surviving historic buildings in this part of the city’s Eastside area.
Previously locally listed. 1862, architect unknown. We are delighted that English Heritage has listed this Classical style house with its domed lantern at grade II. Its original dual role as residence and surgeon’s consulting rooms is reflected in the unusual plan and design. We trust that Dudley College will now rethink proposals for demolition and consider an appropriate future for this building within a conservation area.
Grade II*, 1896 J.L.Ball. We are pleased that plans have been refused by Birmingham City Council for unsuitable new front boundary walls and gates for this fine Arts and Crafts house, once the architect’s home. However, regrettably the mature boundary hedge has been partially removed and a prominent hawthorn tree cut down damaging the setting of this important building in a conservation area.
This group of unlisted, mainly derelict Victorian and Edwardian villas is within Barnsley Road Conservation Area. Our application to list 334-336 by local architect George Devall was declined by English Heritage. We have objected to plans for clearance of the site and erection of a retirement village, but no amended proposals which better preserve the character of this much neglected conservation area have been put forward.
Our comments have been submitted on several aspects of a retrospective planning application for alterations to this grade II* listed house in the Four Oaks Conservation area of Sutton Coldfield. We continue to stress the importance of this house which was erected in 1902 to designs by W.H. Bidlake. The house featured in Herman Muthesius’ Das Englische Haus in 1908 and so is important at a European level as an example of an Arts and Crafts house in the English suburb. We regret that so much work has been done without appropriate consents to date, but have requested that a fabric analysis be undertaken and conservation management plan be implemented to ensure that proper procedures are followed with regard to future works on the house.
We continue to maintain our objections to three particular aspects of this scheme to reconstruct this church following a major fire in 2007. The church has a nave and tower by Thomas Rickman of 1822, which constitute one of of the last surviving pieces of his ecclesiastical architecture within Birmingham. The east end was rebuilt and extended by J. A. Chatwin in 1883. Whilst we are sympathetic to the desire of the parish to rebuild after such a traumatic event, the plans include removing some of Rickman’s north nave wall including two cast iron windows, a substantial curved glass extension to the north side of the building, and a sweeping roof of terne coated steel to the entire church, all of which we consider unacceptable alterations to the grade II listed building, though it seems that the tracery from the cast iron windows is to be relocated to an interior space. The plans now have consent from the local authority, but a decision on faculty which includes reference to interior works is still awaited.
We have objected to proposals for the total demolition of these unlisted Victorian and Edwardian houses on the south side of Hagley Road within the Barnsley Road Conservation Area. The houses include number 324, the last house to survive in Birmingham to have been designed by Ernest Barnsley, and numbers 334-6 which were the work of George Henry Devall. Although most of the properties are now in a very poor state of repair following years of neglect, Government Policy directs that this should not in itself be seen as a reason for demolition. The Barnsley Road Conservation Area was identified last year as an area at risk by English Heritage, and we have long been concerned about the condition and vulnerability of several properties within the area. However, we feel that complete demolition of such a significant group of buildings is too great a step. The present proposals for their total replacement with a retirement village complex, which would cover most of the site, and result in substantial tree loss, is also unacceptable. The buildings should be restored and incorporated within a more sympathetic scheme to regenerate the site on this main route into Birmingham.
Proposals to remove the hedge and for its replacement with a wall and gates to the frontage of this grade II* listed house have also been the subject of an objection from us. The house forms a pair with number 19 to make a delightful expression of English vernacular architecture through the Arts and Crafts movement, for which the hedge constitutes an important part of the planned rural type of setting. We hope that a more acceptable alternative can be achieved.
Sadly English Heritage declined our request for listing of this gateway on the City Hospital site. It is the last remaining part of Birmingham New Workhouse buildings, a vast complex designed by J. J. Bateman in 1852. The building is derelict and surrounded by car parking. We hope that a future use can still be found for this extraordinary building, which has considerable historical interest as the place where families entering the workhouse would have been separated.
We have objected to the proposed total demolition of these grade II listed buildings on Birmingham Eastside. These Georgian town houses, which were adapted in the Victorian period for industrial and commercial uses including a brassware factory, represent a classic Birmingham story of domestic premises being altered during the nineteenth century industrial growth of the city. Such examples are increasingly rare outside the Jewellery Quarter, and we consider that these important buildings must be preserved in an area which is undergoing huge redevelopment leaving few historical points of reference.