Harborne’s clock tower was a death trap before it was protected by scaffolding and closed to the public, a structural survey has concluded.
City council engineers discovered lose iron ornaments that could easily have crashed 230 feet to the ground, killing anyone passing by.
Lead flashings, terracotta ornaments and roof tiles were easily moved by hand and in danger of falling off.
The tower, a Victorian Grade 11 listed building, was used for adult learning sessions, but shut in July 2010 after debris fell from the roof.
Members of the council property sub committee are expected to grant a 125 year lease to a mystery buyer who has promised to restore the building and re-open it for public use.
The structural survey found most of the roof to be sagging and in a dilapidated state.
Engineers removed several lead ornaments, each weighing about five kilogrammes, that could easily have been blown off in a strong wind.
The study noted: “Debris has been reported to have fallen on a number of occasions and from observations this situation would have continued with potentially fatal consequences.
“Such examples include the 230ft high metal finials that were removed by hand from the tower roof and the hip and ridge tiles that were held by their self weight.
“There are further components to the building that have been identified to be loose or corroded and require attention. These defects have vindicated the decision to erect the protective scaffold.”
Gutters and down pipes were found to be in a “dire state”, cracked or broken with leaking water causing damp to the walls.
A report to the property sub-committee makes it clear that whoever buys the clock tower will be responsible for putting it into a good state of repair.
The report adds: “It is recognised that the clock tower is an integral part of the street scene in Harborne and that the quality and character of this listed building is protected, and should be brought up to standard.”