Heritage watchdogs are calling for three historic Birmingham pubs which stand in the Eastside development area next to the proposed new High Speed Rail (HS2) station to be saved.
The Woodman, Eagle & Tun and the Fox & Grapes could all be bulldozed when the massive station for HS2 is built.
But members of Birmingham City Council’s Conservation and Heritage Panel have called for efforts to stop them being flattened.
Their fears come after the unsuccessful campaign to stop nearby Island House being demolished because developers were unable to rent it out due to uncertainty over the HS2 scheme.
The building, dating from 1912, has now been knocked down by owner Quintain Estates.
The panel heard how the HS2 station will impact on the Eastside Masterplan now the controversial rail line has been approved.
HS2 will operate from London Euston into Birmingham city centre and will run alongside the existing West Coast Mainline. It will terminate alongside Moor Street Station with the new station taking up a huge swathe of land in Digbeth.
The HS2 station will see 12,000 passengers and 18 trains per hour and will involve the construction of a high level viaduct.
Members of the heritage panel were told planners were aware the three pubs were at risk. However, the masterplan did include the possibility of preserving them all as “heritage assets”.
But Andy Foster, from the Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings, said he believed the Eastside plans were “politically driven” and they had to do all they could to protect the three pubs.
Barbara Shackley, from Warwickshire Gardens Trust, also called for more to be done to save them.
“I want to make sure we keep these three pubs, I don’t want them to disappear. I believe the Eagle and Tun is locally listed, but we need them all listed,” she said.
All three pubs are currently closed, victims of the changing drinking climate, disruption caused by the Eastside development and also the decline of the local manufacturing industry.
The Woodman, in Albert Street, is now the only building on a site which has been cleared. It was built in 1897 and is noted for its facade by the Birmingham architects, James and Lister Lea. Despite being closed for several years, its public bar and smoking room remain largely intact.
The Eagle and Tun in Banbury Street became famous after Birmingham reggae band UB40 used it to film their music video for Red Red Wine there in the 1980s. It was also where the band’s creative brains Ali and Robin Campbell wrote many of their hits, including One In Ten.
The pub is locally listed and was built in the late 19th century, again on a design by James and Lister Lea.
The Fox and Grapes, in nearby Park Street, is the oldest of the pubs, dating back as far as the late 17th century.
Among the facilities already under construction at Eastside are the £65 million Birmingham City University campus, the £8 million Eastside City Park and the £25 million Hotel La Tour.
Island House, which was in Moor Street has now been reduced to rubble, despite a campaign by heritage enthusiasts and being locally listed.
The 100-year-old landmark, which was a former college art centre, was demolished after developers decided not to proceed with their original scheme incorporating it because it was blighted by the HS2 development.
English Heritage also ruled the building was not worthy of protection, despite the planning committee calling for it to be preserved.