A Birmingham businessman has been refused permission to demolish his derelict factory because of its important industrial history.
Christopher Wray, the owner of Christopher Wray lighting, said he had unsuccessfully tried to restore or sell the former brass fitting factory in Bartholomew Row, Eastside, for years and believes his only option is to demolish the Grade II listed 18th century workshop and sell the land for redevelopment.
He said: “I have owned the building for a long time and ran it as a brass lamp facility, but the costs became too huge.
“I have put the building on the market, but there have been no offers and developers tell me that refurbishment would have a negative value of £1 million. I am at my wit’s end.”
He said that development of new buildings around the site, and the continual rattle of buses and lorries, had caused major vibration damage to the building and added that there had been vandalism and break ins.
But the city’s planning committee, following formal objections from English Heritage, said that total demolition of a historic building is unacceptable and refused the application outright.
Chairwoman of the conservation and heritage panel, Coun Paula Smith (Lib Dem, Hall Green), said: “This is part of our heritage. Too often in the past we have allowed historic buildings to be demolished and they have been lost forever.”