Work to convert troubled former pub can start after sitting empty for years

Sunday, 21 April 2024 22:53

By Christian Barnett, Local Democracy Reporter

Work to convert a troubled former pub into new houses looks set to move forward after sitting empty for years.

The former Cock Inn in Dudley Road, Rowley Regis, is being converted into three new homes after plans were backed by Sandwell Council in 2022. 

The council’s planners have now signed off on 10 ‘preparatory’ conditions in the planning permission agreement from two years ago. The ‘discharging of the conditions’ now means the main work can start.

The owners of the pub announced in 2021 they had been forced to close the Cock Inn after a string of incidents – including violent attacks from thugs and fly-tipping – and put forward plans to transform the watering hole into homes.

The application described “young males congregating late at night… smoking, drinking and causing a nuisance” before the forced closure.

“Over the years the [owner] has seen a gradual decline to the business and has faced various incidents of anti-social behaviour and violence against him and his family, whilst running the business,” the application read. “In light of this he has decided to close the premises.”

“The vacant land adjacent can attract anti-social behaviour and young males can be found congregating there late at night, smoking, drinking, causing a nuisance.

“The site also attracts fly-tipping and our client has on many occasions had to take rubbish to the local recycling centre, this then causes vermin infestation.”

Sandwell Council approved a plan to build two three-bed homes on a patch of grass in front of the pub in March 2019. A separate plan to build an extension and convert the former pub into nine flats was approved in May 2021.

The flats plan was then scrapped in favour of a new move to convert the former Cock Inn into three homes but that was initially rejected by Sandwell Council.

The council’s planners said the planned three homes were “poorly designed” and the gardens were “insufficient” when rejecting the application in May 2022. 

A new plan with bigger gardens was then put forward and approved a few months later and approved by the council.


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