New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Hagley Road Villa’s and the Victorian Society

Posted January 30th, 2011 by Birmingham Conservation Trust with 2 Comments

The Victorian Society is urging the Secretary of State to call in a recent Birmingham City Council planning approval to demolish a series of Victorian Villas on the Hagley Road and replace them with retirement flats.  The Society reports on it’s website

Earlier this month Birmingham City Councillors granted permission for the Extra Care Charitable Trust to build 240 flats on the Hagley Road site. As part of the plans six important Victorian and Edwardian houses will be demolished.

The formerly grand homes are unlisted but all lie within the Barnsley Road Conservation Area. English Heritage recommended refusal, as did the council’s own Design Review Panel and the City Council’s Conservation Officer and Conservation and Heritage panel.

‘We are requesting that that the Secretary of State call in the application because the demolition of the six houses is contrary to national planning policy on Conservation Areas’, said Joe Holyoak, Chair of the Victorian Society’s Casework Committee in the West Midlands. ‘We are also concerned that undue political pressure was placed on members of the Planning Committee to approve the application.’

The houses now facing demolition include number 324, built in 1895 and the only surviving house in Birmingham by the Arts and Crafts architect, Ernest Barnsley. Two houses designed in the early 1900s by local architect, George Henry Devall will also be lost.

The Planning Committee voted in favour of the scheme by seven votes to five.

‘We believe that the buildings should be restored and incorporated within a more sympathetic scheme. These houses are attractive, robust and adaptable and if kept would enhance the redevelopment of the site. A more imaginative and sustainable approach is needed

and said earlier this month

The formerly grand homes are unlisted but all lie within the Barnsley Road Conservation Area

‘We are extremely concerned. The city council has a responsibility to care for its built heritage and conservation areas are part of that protection’, said Tim Bridges, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. ‘The Barnsley Road Conservation Area has been identified as at risk by English Heritage, and we have long been worried about the condition and vulnerability of several properties within the area.’

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2 Responses to “Hagley Road Villa’s and the Victorian Society”

  1. Ted Hiscock January 31, 2011

    I fully support the restoration of the Hagley Road villas. The character of Edgabaston has already deteriorated along that stretch of Hagley Road into a prosaic monotonous architectural wilderness. This insipid decline of architectural heritage in Birmingham is nothing more than permissive public vandalism in the name of cash returns. I fully support the protection of these properties before it is too late.

    Ted Hiscock


  2. Hannah Severn January 30, 2011

    I’ve been fascinated by the Hagley Road villas ever since I was little, so I really hope something can be done to save them. Thanks for bringing this to people’s attentions.


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