THE FORMER Blackheath British Legion Memorial Club which has lain empty for more than a year looks set to be transformed into flats.

The Blackheath legion branch was forced to close its social club in Powke Lane in November 2011 after 90 years because dwindling members meant it struggled to meet rent payments to the national British Legion office.

Members now meet at the Robert Peel Pub in Rowley Regis.

An application to convert the building into three two bedroom flats and one one bedroom flat was submitted to Sandwell Council this week.

Developer John Newall has proposed the move through Pharaoh Designs, of Kingswinford.

A design and access statement to planners notes: “The building is now in need of renovation and would greatly benefit from approval of this application.

“It is thought that due to the current climate and closing of so many similar facilities, the chances of the building reopening as a licensed house is very unlikely.

“So granting permission will ensure the continued use of this building.”

The application notes there is parking at rear of the building for eight vehicles.

Blackheath British Legion fought back to carry on after a devastating fire at the social club around six years ago. Is still an active branch which organises Remembrance Parades, fundraisers and other events, with around 40 members and meetings held every second Tuesday of the month at the Robert Peel pub, Rowley Village, Rowley Regis, at 8pm.

It also has an affiliated Royal British Legion riders, a bike club linked to the legion.

Chairman Bob Homer did not wish to comment on the application but confirmed the legion still owns the site.