The future (if any) of Great Barr Hall

The following link is very sad to read at the state of Great Barr Hall which was supposed to be rennovated by Bovis but of course a fire happened to occur just before this.

LINK

If the weather is good over the next week or so I will make an effort to get some decent pictures to show everyone what is occurring up there and we should ask serious questions of the future. Great Barr Hall is something the residents of Pheasey and Great Barr should be very proud of but the shameful neglect is something we should reflect on over the years, despite some sterling work by Peter Allen.

There is a post on that link which indicates English Heritage have control over the Hall now (though looking at the pictures I find it difficult to see how it could be saved) and I will contact them to see if they can confirm that as there is nothing on their website.

EDIT: English Heritage confirmed the above details were wrong and the Hall is owned by the Manor Building Preservation trust and the full details can be found on Peter Allen’s excellent site below

www.greatbarrhall.com/

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24 thoughts on “The future (if any) of Great Barr Hall

  1. hi, i was informed by english heritage that the owners must keep a listed property weatherproof and vandal proof which obviously isn`t happening.this is the english heritage case worker for the area,if you do get any pictures or need help contact her.susan.davies@english-heritage.org.uk.

  2. From my understanding English Heritage have no ownership rights over this site whatsoever. At one point the whole site was in the hands of Bovis but they then handed it over to an organisation that called/calls it self a restoration trust although the only restoration I am aware of is a JCB to take down 1960′s extensions which caused considerable damage and a planning application for two huge manor houses on the banks of the lakes that I spoke against at a planning committee and the committee did not pass the plans.

    From my understanding and I am not sure whether it is still the case but the Hall and the land (i.e. the lakes) have been split in terms of ownership. I have worked with both Peter and Bob on this issue and some years ago the owners, I am told, got a considerable amount of money granting the Electricity Company access to the pylons. Bovis is also informed me that there decision to dispose of the site was not one of their best as it was the first time in over 30 years that the whole site had been under one ownership.

    My plans some years ago for a publically owned Great Barr Park with managed green space and water activities fell on deaf ears and I have to say if I had been involved in Pheasey Park Farm in the years running up to the millennium this should have been a millennium project. I have had numerous meetings with the Heritage Lottery and a number with English Heritage over the years (about several issues) and always mention the Hall but of course resources are always tight these organisations are give the power to intervene but no real budget to do it with and I do not suppose this will change. With the Land being in private ownership makes the whole thing more difficult because you have to start with purchasing the site which could run in to several millions. The Last time I saw the hall (probably 3 years ago) it was in state of dereliction then and not much that could be saved apart from the Chapel so I dread to think what it looks like now. Much of the remaining interior, such as doors, were being stored in the open at the mercy of the elements and there was, from my recollection, little or no protection for the shell of the building.

    I imagine even the gardens now are totally overgrown if not destroyed by a JCB.

    There are lots of thing that could be done with site, some ideas that would include some development (on existing developed space) such as office space or, reflecting on the history of the Lunar Society, something to encourage science and innovation and to save the wonderful grounds for outdoor pursuits would be a tremendous feet. This discussion makes me want to dig out my original plans for Great Barr Park – I might just do that.

  3. Adrian, it is still split as I posted English Heritage confirmed this. It is far too late now to look back at what more can and should have been done. As I said back then I was to be honest just discovering an interest in politics so was not aware of the issues apart from general concerns.

    Now I have read Peter’s excellent site, which has not been updated since the application was granted and it plainly makes me angry at what happened and of no benefit to Pheasey on one side and the Scotts area on the other side.

    So on Saturday I drove up to Nether Hall, camera in hand and could not locate Great Barr Hall, from Nether Hall it was all fenced off, so would need guidance. However what struck me about Nether Hall was

    1) the incompleteness of it after all these years, towards the back it is a complete mess

    2) Frankly the lack of any kind of soul or community, just individual units, no focal point, no amenities a place I could never live

    3) that when you look at from google maps and on the ground the whole place looks ripe for further development and the foothold is there.

    It was years ago I used to go up there especially after weekends and after 25 years to see it like that made me sad and angry.

    The inevitability of another planning application will happen, just WHEN.

  4. Hi Ian,
    There are two ways to approach Great Barr Hall, by climbing over a fence or the gate in Crail Grove and then just following the old path and then the old road until you reach the Hall; a distance of somewhere between 500 and a 1000 yards at a guess from Crail.
    Or;
    By walking past St Margarets church off Chapel Lane and along Suttons Drive into Great Barr Park. Just follow the Drive down until you come to the bridge, cross that and you’ll be 300 to 400 yards away from the Hall.
    Bill Newman is buried in St Margarets graveyard on the side nearest to Suttons Drive, the park and the Hall.
    All the best, Steve.

  5. I had a meeting with bob winkle about the site the other day with planners to discuss what is happening to both sites.

    Ian I agree with you that it is very incomplete and I cannot see it being a completed and settled community for many years and as I said to bob, and he agreed, we were ALL too busy fighting the application to try and get anything very positive out of the development but there are Section 106 contributions and if you drop me and email I will get you the details of what has happened to them but section 106 money comes in when a certain number of homes have been built.

    The original people leading this for Bovis originally wanted 650 proprties and reduced to 450 (I believe that this was the number they had been working on all along)

    Just a point Ian when (or if) you do visit the site just be mindful of the Birmingham Councillor who posted video footage about his visit to a derelict site and was subsequently done for tresspass.

    As for further development on the site the rules about developing in the green belt are based on the footprint of the previously developed land.

  6. thanks Adrian and I just find the place very strange, it is like something that was ever planned for but just fitted in.

    Do you believe if a tory minister had been in charge the decision would have been different under the planning rules at the time ?

    Honest answer ?

    Steve Grey clearly believes it was all down to Prescott

    • hi i was the only rule 6 speaker at the the early stages of protest i produced a wildlife study whitch was over three years to comlete i have already been bit by the security dog whilst been held on a leash and tuned away on on another ocasion on my last visit i took phots of scaffold around building and a security compound but i,m hearing rumours regarding the site dave

  7. Hi Ian,
    I don’t believe that the Bovis overspill in Great Barr Park was down to Prescott, it’s an irrefutable fact that it was.
    As Adrian and myself have pointed out to you on more than one occasion, Prescott was the Euro-Labour Secretary Of State who signed the paperwork allowing Bovis to desecrate OUR green belt GBP; which has worked out nicely from the perspective of your party, looking at the strong Euro-Labour vote from residents in Nether Hall over the last three years. (Local and European Elections).

  8. Yes Steve, Prezza signed the paperwork and he did not have to but do you believe any other politician of whatever colour (maybe not green !!) would have done it differently

    what should change is where I believe all the council’s rejected it, that should carry all the power.

  9. Hi Ian,
    I agree with you that Green Party councillors probably wouldn’t have allowed any development inside Great Barr Park; and neither would UKIP or English Democrat councillors.
    Euro-Labour in the massive shape of Lord ‘Bovis’ Prescott did of course as we know give permission for development in the park; but what the Lib Dums and a majority of Conservative councillors would have done, if the final decision had been their’s to make, we will never now know.
    I also agree with your view that all decisions/powers relating to development of any size whatsoever should be devolved back to local councils; and that any rejection of a proposal by a majority of councillors should stand with no leave for the developer to appeal; and there should also be absolutely no involvement whatsoever in local planning issues from central Government the European Union or any other un-elected outside agencies or quango’s.

  10. Gentlemen,
    An interesting discussion, but you do not access this Site or Great Barr Hall by climbing over a fence or gate and certainly not in Crail Grove!!

    Access can be gained to great Barr Hall through the main gates at Questlett Road, up to the little island, turn left, follow road round, park car by flats recently built and walk down the old road to Great Barr Hall, which I may add is screened off by Security fence with guard dog named Rocky.

  11. have met “rocky on several occasions read my posting please.i have just remebered by some planning error i have several of the original submitted plans for the builds i dont think they comply whith what i seen viually if these plans are usefull let me know,or let peter allen know weve met db

  12. I have often wondered Dave if the councils have checked to see if they have complied up there, such a mess.

    after Steve’s previous warning, think will give a visit a miss but if anyone has a recent photo let me know

  13. the same mate

    sad photo’s mate on that site, very sad

    as to any updates it is unclear. There are rumours they want path ways leading onto Park Farm Road or straight through the woods to Barr Beacon School for the kids from the estate to get there.

    Both would cause massive problems for the residents of Park Farm.

    You would guess the current economic situation has froze any further house building plans, but once things get better, I and others are sure we will see further plans for building.

    What happened ot Great Barr Hall should be considered a national disgrace, think if that was in good condition what an asset it would be.

    Your email address appears incorrect.

    • for some reason your link thing added pics. to my email address lol.As a keen angler i stumbled across gb hall when checking out the lakes from google earth even though i lived on beacon rd for 10 yrs i never new about the mansion.after sneaking through the fence just before the motorway bridge i entered a magical overgrown kingdom of forgotten brick structures entwined with dense foliage and magnificent ancient trees.when the bottom lake came into view i was astounded by the beauty of the setting.i followed the path round the lake until i spotted the weir that seperated the top and bottom lakes,to stand on the weir stones between the lakes and take in the scenery just blew me away.Crossing the weir to check out the other side of the top lake something caught my eye,a beautiful but broken building,i took a couple of pics but an angry frothing at the mouth alsatian bounding out of the bushes towards me stopped me in my tracks.Anyway,i`ll never forget how haunting and beautiful that hour or so in the grounds of gb hall made me feel.wish i could do something about it like many others.keep up the good work with this and news and views

  14. I am a resident on the Netherhall park estate and have been for several walks over to Great Barr Hall and around the many acres of woodland there. I was amazed when l first l stumbled across the hall as l had never heard of it previously. After reseraching it’s history it is a great shame to see the place in the state that it is now. Speaking to a security guard he said that Bovis had no intention of doing anything to the site but Bovis do not own it. A company called Master building preservation trust from Milton Keynes own the site and in the last week have fenced off the path l used to walk to the hall and also put the hall and surrounding 50 acres up for sale on rightmove.co.uk for 2.2 million. Apparently a large hotel chain is interested in the site.
    It would be great to see the place restored to its former glory and for the public to have access to it but l doubt that will ever happen.

  15. Hi we are buying a house in there..is it safe to live..also is there any scary story while u are living there i mean any thing u saw which can scare u

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