English Heritage Yet to Finalise its Position OVer Restoration of Great Barr Hall

English Heritage reserves its position on a controversial planning application that could see the Great Barr Hall site transformed into a conference venue and 57 homes, Tom Watson MP has revealed.

Owners consortium BCG Lakes have recently submitted plans to revamp the hall, which has stood empty on the border of Walsall and Sandwell since 1978, and is grade II listed.

Great Barr MP Tom Watson recently contacted the chief executive of English Heritage, Simon Thurley, to seek clarity over the organisation's position after literature suggested the application commanded its support. 

Mr Thurley confirmed that the organisation had been consulted on the matter but would be reserving their position on the application, in which they are a consultee solely on heritage matters, until they have been able to review all of the relevant information in the submission.

Mr Watson said: "I am pleased to hear that English Heritage has not made a final decision on the application but will be looking to submit their views soon. There has been a great deal of misinformation circulating that they had formed a view in support of the application."

Mr Thurley also revealed to the MP that the deteriorating condition of both the grade II listed hall and its grade II registered park had long been a cause of concern to English Heritage.

Both are included in the organisation's Heritage At Risk Register in the most serious category and Great Barr Hall is listed as one of their priority sites in the West Midlands.

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