Campaigners fighting to save a 350-year-old Solihull building from being demolished vowed to continue their battle yesterday - despite failing in their bid to get the property put on the statutory list of protected buildings.
Residents near Fowgay Hall, on the corner of Dingle Lane and Whitefields Road, had urged English Heritage to formally list the premises as part of a campaign to protect it from being demolished by developers.
However, the heritage body rejected the petition, claiming the building had " little architectural distinction".
English Heritage did, however, appear to back Solihull Metropolitan District Council's decision to grant the building local listing. A statement issued by organisation describes Fowgay Hall as "a disparate group of buildings, including some salvaged or planted with 17th or 18th century timbers but very largely of a 19th or 20th century date and having little architectural distinction."
It adds: "The building is not suitable for addition to the statutory list, but may be suited to a local list."
The building is being threatened with a plan by developers Parkridge Homes to replace it with a 14 unit, three-storey apartment block.
Fowgay Hall's local listing will help protect the building when the decision on whether to give the development the goahead is made by a Government inspector.
The council planning committee is meeting tomorrow to discuss the plans, however, the decision has been taken out of its hands by the developers who successfully appealed to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for non-determination.
Despite its lack of power, the local authority could send a defiant message to the Government inspector if it was to rule against the application.
Jeff Stone, spokesman for the Fowgay Hall Action Group, said: "We have never pretended there is anything spectacular or beautiful about the building.
"But we will continue the fight because Fowgay Hall is very much part of our local history and was here before anything else in the area."