8:00am Wednesday 16th November 2011
Cradley Heath’s ‘iconic’ Municipal buildings has been put up for sale by Sandwell Council raising fears it could be bulldozed for flats.
The buildings, on the corner of Barrs Road and Halesowen Road, was built in 1938 and features on the Rowley Regis Heritage Trail but is unwanted by Sandwell Council.
Cradley Heath and Old Hill Councillor Liz Bowler slammed the council for ‘neglecting our heritage’ and selling off the family jewels.
She said: “I have had several residents contact me this week because there are rumours that the building is going to be demolished and the land redeveloped for housing.
“I feel really passionate about this, not only because I have lived opposite the building for so many years, but Sandwell council seem to have a habit of neglecting our heritage, you only have to look at what they did or didn’t do for Corngreaves Hall, and it would be so very sad to see yet another of our historical buildings being demolished.”
She added: “As custodians of our local heritage the council should be committed to safeguarding these important buildings and not simply allow them to be destroyed forever for commercial gain.
“I just hope that they will do whatever they can to ensure that the building is retained as offices, as it is such an attractive building.”
The Municipal building was built shortly after Rowley Regis ceremoniously received its Charter as a Municipal Borough in 1933 to replace the original council offices in Lawrence Lane, Old Hill.
The foundation stone was laid by the last Mayor of Rowley Regis, Alderman Thomas Deeley on 23rd October 1937 and the building was then officially opened in December 1938.
Councillor Ian Jones, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for jobs and the economy, confirmed the Municipal buildings were being sold.
He said: "The council is having to make £75 million in savings over four years as a result of central Government cuts and inflation.
"One of the savings we are making is more efficient use of fewer offices so staff from the Municipal Buildings will be relocated to Sandwell Council House in Oldbury.”
"The Municipal buildings have recently been put on the market by our agents, Lambert Smith Hampton.
"We have done this as quickly as possible so interest can be generated in the building and hopefully it will not be empty for long.”
He added: "A guide price is still being finalised and offers are invited."
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