A controversial plan to tear down an 'iconic' Walsall pub building and replace it with luxury housing looks set to be thrown out.

The proposal to demolish the former Three Crowns pub on Sutton Road and build seven five bedroom houses on the site will go before Walsall Council's planning committee on Thursday (March 21).

It was due to be discussed at a previous planning committee meeting in January but got pulled by the applicants Western Trading Ltd at the 11th hour as they looked to address objections flagged up as potential reasons for refusal.

The former Three Crowns public house in Sutton Road, Walsall. Pic Google Street View.
The former Three Crowns public house in Sutton Road, Walsall. Pic Google Street View.
 

But despite their efforts in alleviating concerns, planning officers are still recommending the application be turned down.

The proposal has divided opinion in the community with some in favour of seeing a long-term derelict pub being demolished while others are concerned about losing what they describe as an iconic pub.

Conservation officers added that the building should be considered a heritage asset and that the development would harm the area overall.

Planning officers had originally recommended refusal because it was considered an inappropriate development on green belt land while there were concerns about the loss of trees and hedgerows to significantly alter the character of the area.

A number of changes have been made to the application and in a letter to the council, the company said: "The existing building has now been unoccupied for a number of years and is in a very poor state and it beyond economical repair and is not readily suitable for conversion as this is cost prohibitive."

Walsall Council House
 

But Walsall Council planning officer Paul Hinton said: "It is considered that the proposed demolition of this undesignated heritage asset has not been justified and the proposed development would adversely impact upon the setting of the Great Barr Conservation Area.

"By virtue of the increased footprint and volume over and above the existing building the proposal is inappropriate development in the Green Belt for which no very special circumstances, sufficient to outweigh the harm to the character, openness and purpose of the Green Belt have been demonstrated.

"The proposal would have an urbanising effect by creating urban sprawl on this part of the countryside which would be contrary to the purpose and character of the Green Belt.

"Furthermore it would conflict with urban regeneration by developing a Greenfield site rather than recycling previously developed land.

"The loss of trees and hedgerows and encroachment of gardens onto the pasture land also alters the appearance of the site and adversely affects the character of the Green Belt."