A conservation group has made a last-ditch plea for an historic Birmingham pub, popular with Aston Villa fans, to be saved from the bulldozer.
The Victorian Society believes the King Edward VII pub in Aston, far from standing in the way of development, could become a landmark feature for the new industrial estate.
Birmingham’s planning committee is expected to approve the demolition of the pub and alterations to the Lichfield Road and Aston Hall Road junction to pave the way for the Aston Regional Investment site – expected to create 3,000 manufacturing jobs over the next decade.
Although a major landmark built in 1902 the King Edward VII has no legal protection – but is included in the council’s own local list of historic buildings.
But the Victorian Society is calling on the council to think again.
Society conservation advisor Tim Bridges said: “The proposal is for total demolition of this locally listed building.
‘‘While we are keen to see the economic regeneration of this area, this Edwardian building, which in our view enhances the character of the area, should be retained as part of the redevelopment.
“We therefore urge the council to refuse consent for these proposals as presented and reconsider how the building can be incorporated into alternative proposals for this road junction and adjacent sites.”
He said that the King Edward has ‘great presence’ on the street and is a rare building of character. He highlighted the corner doorways, attractive terracotta detailing and distinctive oriel windows.
He added: “Several original interior fittings also survive, notably cast iron fireplaces, tilework, cornices and some woodwork, notably in the smoke room, staircase and other back rooms to the public house.”
The pub’s owner Paul McMahon has already agreed a swap deal and is developing the derelict Aston Tavern nearby to replace the bar as a popular matchday venue.
The council has already agreed to remove several historic internal fixtures and fittings with a view to installing them in the Tavern.
The tavern, unlike the King Edward VII, has a Grade II listing from English Heritage to prevent demolition.
It has been empty for many years and is being restored by Mr McMahon and the Homes and Communities Agency.