An historic Black Country building is to be converted into homes after councillors backed plans.

The Tipton and Unionist Conservative Club - which started life as a flour mill in 1840 - will be converted into 14 apartments after Sandwell ’s planning committee approved the scheme.

The plan was backed by a Labour councillor who said he was reluctant to see its partial demolition.  

The building on Union Street has stood empty for the past four years but the plans  will now convert it into seven one-bedroom properties and seven two-bedroom properties.

Tipton Conservative and Unionist Club, Union Street, Tipton, set to become 14 apartments.
Tipton Conservative and Unionist Club, Union Street, Tipton, set to become 14 apartments.
 

After becoming a social club in 1909 it has played host to meetings featuring leading national members of the Conservative Party before closing its doors in 2015.

Manraj Singh, speaking on behalf of the developers, said the plans would bring back into use a disused building that had been vandalised and broken into during the time it was empty. 

He added: "It is an historic building with good local interest and we have been working with the conservation groups to try and ensure that they are satisfied with the design proposals being put forward."

A report to councillors stated the application was supported by the Tipton Civic Society as a positive re-use of a significant local building giving the opportunity to restore some of its original features.

The submitted plans proposed a combination of single, two-storey and three-storey additions and balconies on its elevations facing a conservation area and a total of 18 parking spaces.

They also allow for the demolition of the rear of the building and the creation of a roof garden with screening to prevent overlooking of  a neighbouring property.

Moving acceptance of planning officers recommendations to approve the scheme, Labour Cllr Bob Piper joked: “Reluctant as I am to see a Conservative Club demolished, I move acceptance of officers’ recommendations.”