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George Gallagher

(formerly Plough Inn)

7 Church Street
Brierley Hill

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This pub is currently closed.

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About the Pub

This old Pub dates back at least to the 1850s. It closed in 2009 and, sadly, now seems to be in a state of terminal dilapidation. Although not a Nationally Listed building, it is a Locally Listed Heritage asset (HER No. 5115) and is within the Brierley Hill High Street Conservation Area. This combination should have afforded it some protection from the fate that has befallen it – but, clearly, has not.

On the 24th March 2010 the then intact former Pub was put up for auction in good condition by Admiral Taverns. It sold for £82,000. By October 2010, the door and ground-floor windows had been boarded up.

During the Winter of 2012/2013, the roof coverings were removed – done, it is said, to avoid paying rates. But, whatever the reason, it was not lawful given the building's status as a heritage asset within a Conservation Area. Inevitably, exposure of the interior to all weathers resulted in serious deterioration – including the collapse of ceilings and floors. It is claimed that the weather also caused the chimneys and parts of the gable ends to fall in. At that time, the building was owned by Danbury Associates Ltd. - a Real Estate Company of Northern Ireland.

Dudley MBC Historic Environment had been pursuing them for some time regarding the state of the building and this eventually resulted in an Application for Conservation Area Consent being submitted by them in 2014. The Application for Conservation Area Consent (No. P14/0789) was registered on 13th June 2014. It proposed to repair the building and convert it into four flats with an amenity yard to the rear. The front elevation would be restored to its former appearance. The application was approved on 29th July 2014 subject to work being started within three years – in other words, by 28th July 2017.

No progress was made in implementation of the approved proposals. 30th April 2015 – the building was put up for Auction and sold for £57,000.

28th May 2015 – the Land Registry records a sale for £68,400 – which is puzzling.

The then new owner was Eire Property & Lettings Ltd – incorporated on 11th January 2013 with registered address being The Armada, Powick Road, Erdington. The “Armada” is a Pub next to Spaghetti Junction. The owner and single Director was Alan Sherry, an Irish Painter and Decorator. Shortly after buying the building, he arrived with a skip ready to demolish it. He had to be stopped by Officers of Dudley MBC who explained what the situation was and what had to be done.

13th July 2016 – it was put up for Auction again in Birmingham by Pennycuik Collins Auctioneers – but failed to sell.

Late 2016 – As the poor state of the building adversely affects the amenity of the area, the Council served an AMENITY NOTICE on the owner under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This required him to reinstate the roof and windows and carry out general repairs as soon as possible. He could appeal to the Magistrates Court against the Notice but, if this failed and he then failed to comply with the Notice, the Council could carry out the work itself and recover the costs from him.

14th December 2016 – the building was again put up for auction in Birmingham by the same Auctioneers – with a guide price of £59,000 plus. It was sold prior to the Auction for £61,000.

Regarding the latest owner from December 2016, the identity of the latest owner was not available from the Land Registry until the first week in March 2017. As soon as they had that information, Dudley MBC were then in a position to serve the Amenity Notice and an enforcement notice.

Brierley Hill Area Regeneration Review understands that Dudley MBC have written to the latest owner on a number of occasions to explain and discuss the situation with a view to achieving a mutually satisfactory outcome. Apparently, so far, they have had no response – and, therefore, it seems virtually inevitable that, as a last resort, the Council will have to take appropriate legal action.

Any subsequent work on the building, other than that specified by the Amenity Notice, will require the submission of a new application.

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George Gallagher, Brierley Hill

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George Gallagher

7 Church Street
Brierley Hill

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52.478459, -2.12464


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