PLANS to demolish a historic Lower Gornal pub and replace it with homes have been withdrawn after attracting a string of objections.

An application to flatten The Fiddlers Arms in Straits Road with a cul-de-sac of 12 houses had been submitted to Dudley Council.

But the developer has now withdrawn the application, after the council's Historic Environment team recommended it be refused saying it was a poor design and that more effort should be made to save the pub building, which dates back to 1860.

It said that alternative uses for the building should be explored.

The application, for eight detached homes and four semi-detached houses, had led to a series of objections including concerns over the historic importance of the locally listed boozer.

One objection, from councillor David Stanley stated: "I have been contacted by numerous residents about their concerns of the loss of this locally listed building.

"There as been a public house on this site for over 160 years and as played a large part in the area with the community.

"I understand the situation with the council regarding development in building new homes but this is not a suitable location.

"The site is close to the village centre to retain the public house /restaurant or another community use on this site would be ideal in retaining the local character in this area."

The proposal

The proposal

Dudley Council's Historic Environment team objected to the application stating that the building is recorded on the Council’s Historic Environment Record, is a Locally Listed building and it is

located in the Gornal Wood Historic Centre Area of High Historic Townscape Value.

In a report it stated: "The Fiddlers Arms has strong Historical, Aesthetic and Communal value.

"Furthermore the proposed application site is located in a prominent position within the townscape and provides a significant landmark contribution to the appearance and character of this part of the borough and is very distinctive within the context of the Gornal Wood Historic Centre Area of High Historic Townscape Value."

It went on: "The applicant has provided no demonstration that conversion of the heritage asset has been fully explored to alternative uses."

The report also states that "The layout of the proposed development is poor.

"Of particular concern is the proposal to have a row of rear gardens facing the highway which will create a dead frontage."