Derelict pub will be demolished to make way for new vets in Willenhall
A long-running saga over the future of a dilapidated Willenhall pub is set to end after permission was granted to demolish it to make way for a veterinary clinic.
Walsall Council planners approved the proposal put forward by Willenhall based Cavan Vets to bring down the Brown Jug, in Sandbeds Road, which has lain empty for a number of years.
Agents for Cavan said the business had outgrown its current base in The Precinct in Lucknow Road and wanted to redevelop the pub, which has fallen into a state of disrepair, and create a new two storey centre to cope with increasing demand and provide more facilities and car parking.
They said the new base would also result in more jobs being created as the business – which opened in 2003 and employs 14 staff between its two sites in Willenhall and Oxley – grows.
In its design and access statement, Cavan said it had been pursuing the site for three years had even agreed a price with the previous owners back in 2016.
But the deal fell through and the site ownership has changed hands in the intervening years, resulting in further delays.
Concerns over the poor condition of the building and the site becoming a magnet for fly-tipping and vandalism and the council served a section 215 notice on it.
When that failed to bring about remedial work to tidy up the site, Stuart Lloyd from Cavan Vets and ward councillors Bal Chatta and Sarah Cooper gathered a petition with 1,600 signatures on it calling on the authority to use Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers to take control of the building.
Council bosses confirmed they were still pursuing the CPO but welcomed the news planning permission had been granted.
Cavan’s agents’ ACD Projects Ltd said: “The existing pub was designed in the 1930’s and has been redundant for many years, is in an unsafe, dilapidated, state and is a local eye-sore.
“The practice needs the move so that they can serve all of their clients.
“Regularly clients have to book in at other vets as they can’t get an appointment.
“They therefore need to expand, to have better facilities and longer appointment times, and to have a dedicated car park.
“The Brown Jug pub site is perfect as it is large enough to easily build a suitable facility with a car park and is close enough to serve their current client base.”
Walsall Council deputy leader Adrian Andrew said: “This is great news for local people and a further step towards removing this eyesore in the community.
“It is also a another step towards the process of a possible Compulsory Purchase of the site.
“I want to pay tribute and thank Stuart Lloyd from Cavan Vets who has worked with councillors Sarah-Jane Cooper and Bal Chattha to deliver this planning application at great cost and risk to himself.
“It shows his commitment and contribution to the residents of Short Heath.
“We will be working with the owners and Cavan Vets to deliver the development and secure the site.”
Councillor Cooper added: “It’s fantastic news that the plans have been approved.
“The Brown Jug is a complete eyesore for the people of Short Heath. The Conservative team want to get this fantastic project delivered for our residents who have had to live with this for over 10 years.”