The Church of Scientology has unveiled plans for a “complete and sensitive” £6 million restoration of a listed mansion in Moseley following years of speculation.
A planning application for the renovation of Pitmaston House has now been submitted to Birmingham City Council, nearly eight years after proposals for a Midland HQ were first revealed.
The application is for a change of use from office accommodation to religious education and place of worship and has been submitted by the American Church’s Religious Education College Inc.
The church says the plans include a complete £6 million restoration which will include ‘skilled crafts’ to restore marble and oak panelling, as well as structural work to repair worn and damaged materials.
The US sect, which boasts famous followers including actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, has already said neighbouring residents have nothing to fear from the plans, which will see the former Birmingham home of the Ideal Benefit insurance society brought back into use after years of lying empty.
The submission to Birmingham City Council has now been made following nearly two years of consultancy work and detailed consultations with local groups and the community in Moseley.
Graeme Wilson, UK Public Affairs Director for the Church, said: “We held two successful open day events last November at the Mac and this gave us the opportunity to meet and talk to local people and listen to their thoughts. We were encouraged by the support we received on the attention to detail for the restoration proposals.
“We also met with a number of people who shared their stories or had had connections with the building when it was the home of the Ideal Benefit Society and even earlier when the building was the home of a private family.”
The church says the building will be opened up to different groups within the community and will incorporate projects such as tackling drug addiction, human rights and education.