Great Barr Hall has been sold

We have been aware for some time that Great Barr Hall has been up for sale and it seems we have two pieces of news

the first comes from a favourite blog of mine – The Ruin of Great Barr Hall – LINK and a comment from Martin

They just sold it by auction barnard marcus auction, however it was sold before the auction date for an undisclosed sum.
i bet it was given to the council they always let the buildings drop to bits just like duncraig castle plockton

When I checked the auctioneers site I then can see it was indeed sold as Martin said


Then on the Pheasey Labour blog – LINK someone has posted this

My wife and I went for a walk over to Great Barr Hall and we were informed by the security guard that the Hall with all the land has now been sold to a consortium of 10 Asians for £1million, to which 1 of them owns a steel works in Smethwick and that we were trespassing, He also told us that the Hall was going to be pulled down and that a building 5 times bigger will be built there to replace it. We were told that a 10 foot fence is going to be erected all around the site to keep people out. Does anyone know how true this is?

So we need to get as much information as possible and quickly, anyone with further information please contact this blog.


86 thoughts on “Great Barr Hall has been sold

  1. I took my grandchildren for a walk to show them Netherhall Park and went to show them the hall, telling them of the history. I was totally shocked to see how it was. Half of the hall has been demolished (I would like to know by whom) and a security guard was keeping a close eye on what we were up to. Now that its been sold I hope it will be brought back to its former glory but I doubt it. Can you tell me if the lakes and surrounding parkland are included in the sale.

    Good to see this blog back again.

  2. I wonder if anyone can help me please? We’re intending to walk from the Walsall side of Merrions Wood, passed the Church and then take a pathway through the woods and around the lake to the Queslett Rd so that we could then pick up on the Queslett Nature Reserve on the other side of the road. Is this feasible taking into account what has been said above or are all pathways now blocked? Thanks in advance.

    • Martina – There is a new security firm in place now, 7 of them to be precise and you wont get through the lake any more plus last week when we went there we only managed 200 yards from the church and the security man stopped us and sent us packing.

  3. Hi Linda,
    I’d suggest that the best people to contact with regard to where exactly you’re able to walk within Great Barr Park without trespassing on privately owned land, are Peter Allen of the Great Barr Hall Action Committee; or Bob Winkle, Secretary of the Beacon Action Group. Ian Robathan, who created and hosts this (excellent) website, may have contact details for either Peter or Bob. Ian’s always very on the ball and i’m sure he’ll help with your enquiry.

  4. I would like to take this opportunity to confirm that Great Barr Hall including surrounding grounds have been sold to a company made up of 10 share holders who are indeed Asian. They are all local residents who are aware of, fully appreciate and respect the history and beauty of the hall and grounds. While it would be their wish to restore the hall and grounds to its former glory, that may not be possible due to the current state of the building and decaying structure that it is now in. They fully appreciate the land has been used by locals over the years but need to now protect what is left and ensure those few individuals who have caused criminal damage to the hall and grounds are kept out while plans to turn it back to the breathtaking sights it once was now moves forward.

    • Thanks Kam and trust me for myself the ethnic origins of the buyers makes no difference to me.

      the thing is as you indicate is that the Hall is for unsaveable. what the residents want to know is a simple thing.

      Are there plans for development and if so where, when and what type.

  5. I dont actually know the plans, I came across one of the owners in a meeting. I will try and get some further info from him.

  6. Hi Ian,
    I couldn’t agree with you more with regard to your comments above. Pheasey/Park Farm residents i’ve spoken to since the sale of Grade Two Star listed Great Barr Hall and some of the land around it was announced, do want to know, are there any plans for development? If so where exactly? When? And what type of development is going to be proposed?
    Many concerned local residents, the Walsall UKIP Branch and other interested parties right across the political spectrum are once again watching events relating to our Grade Two Star listed Hall very keenly indeed!

    • Steve, we can say what we do not want, we can say we do not want a great big housing estate.

      However if a few prime houses in the right location can pay for remedial works, securing the site etc then that is something that could be worked with.

      I understand one person is going around saying no building at all and I believe that stance is not the correct one.

      Especially without the plans being publicised.

      The good news is that the new owners are consulting and that can only be good compared to the previous invisible owner.

  7. I’m just glad the new security guards have been able to reduce the quad biking. I live on the Nether Hall estate, and things have become much better over last couple of weeks!

  8. Yes – we too live at Nether Hall estate and are relieved to see back of quad biking hopefully. However we are so sad not to have our family walk round Lakes and surrounding fields. It was ideallic. We even found a rope swing on a tree at the top of the hill in one of the fields.

    I am glad that a consortium have now taken an interest in the area – it has been sad to see the ruin and decay over the years from fires, dumping etc. Lets see what happens in the future…

  9. I’ll tell you what will now happen, exactly what has happened to an old Victorian house that was down Green Lane a ‘fortuitous’ fire will occur and the damage to the remaining structure will be beyond repair so that there will be no option but to say that the house has been lost and that the land can be developed. Within the space of a couple of weeks building work will begin (and believe me it will probably be at lightning speed, begging the question how did they manage to arrange building work so quickly after the fire?) on housing packed so tightly that people will be living on top of one another. I’m sorry but I believe that this consortium has absolutely no intention of renovating or rebuilding or indeed saving Great Barr Hall at all, and as for putting something else in it’s place worthy of the inhabitants of Great Barr? Utter rubbish, it’s merely a sop so that nobody will really complain when the remains of the house are eventually demolished as everybody will be awaiting the worthy structure to take it’s place. When all of the land is finally built on it will be the final betrayal of the people of Great Barr and their history but, even worse, the final and complete betrayal of Great Barr Hall.

    • Don;t need a fire mate. The hall is not recoverable by any neutral look and the land was sold cheaply.

      Many people on all sides should look at shame and disgrace at what happened and only a few heroes out there who did their best.

      Peter Allen
      Bob Winkle
      Bruce George

      al we can hope now is that new owners are sensible, that whatever building is done there is sympathetic to the residents and the area and it restores what it can.

      everyone will be watching closely.

  10. Hi Depressed,
    I am as well now!! After reading your probably sharply accurate post. If the latest consortium to have purchased the Grade Two Star listed Great Barr Hall do save and re-build our Hall and return it to it’s former splendour, i’ll be very surprised to say the least!!
    Hi Ian, Peter Allen and Bob Winkle are certainly two of the people who have fought hard over a number of years to save the Hall; But it’s very mean spirited of you indeed to have not mentioned the late Bill Newman’s name together with those of Peter and Bob. Bill and Gloria Newman fought tooth and nail to both save the Hall and to preserve the green belt Great Barr Park; and to stop the Bovis carpetbaggers from despoiling the Park. Also worthy of a mention are long time campaigners Darren Porter and Ian Phillips.
    Bill and Gloria Newman’s, mine, Ian Phillips and Darren Porters opinion of Bruce George did and do not correspond with yours by any means. Pretty well everyone here in Pheasey/Park Farm are probably very well aware of our very low opinion of Mr George!!!!

    • check the photo’s Steve or the latest reports I have posted of people who have gone there and the place is unsaveable.

      It is no good at all pretending otherwise as no one if they could try will ever spend the cash and why would they without a return ?

  11. Hi Ian,
    I’ve never pretended that the Hall has; and for a number of years now, been anything other than in a very sorry state of repair.
    Two other long time campaigners to save the Hall and the Park from neglect and Bovis i forgot to mention yesterday, are Gill and Steve Kain. My apologies to them both for that omission

  12. Just been reading the comments on this regarding great Barr hall, and read the previous stories in the observer, and I must say I am extremely saddened by how cynical these comments have been.the previous owner didn’t engage with the public or the action groups and everyone left him alone. This party has come in and bought a very risky venture at a time of extreme economic hardship and from what I have read started quietly engaging with the action groups. They have put security in place to protect the estate and the hall, we may not like it but the hall is a health and safety issue. Probably the most important ( from my perspective as a local resident on the estate) got rid of the quad bikers. So far they are doing all the right things without shouting about it to all and sundry, and all we can do is criticise and question there motives. With all the negativity surrounding them why would anyone in their right mind wish to come forward to save the hall or any other building for that matter.
    The reality is these people have put their hands in their pocket to try and save a very important building, when we have all sat back and just talked about it. The last time I checked we didn’t live in a communist state and it wasn’t illegal to make money from ones hard endeavours. So if this group saves great Barr hall and also makes a profit ie through housing development etc then we should congratulate them for thinking outside the box as long as whatever they do is done sympathetically so as to protect as much of the estate as possible.
    I for one would say we should all including all political parties(as this is a political blog) work with these people so we all get something out of it. Remember something is better than nothing, !!!!, so let’s all get off our high horses and help these people and encourage them…

    • Totally agree with all that mate and this is not a political blog, try and portray just the news.

      Other places for politics (for me anyway !!)

      We should be realistic at what they can do and I understand the contacts have been made and as you say are positive. what we all want is the best outcome for all involved and not a position where we lose out again because of poor planning.

      this is the very last chance for the Hall and area and can not be lost.

  13. Ian
    You talk about poor planning , but let me ask you a question given the choice would you rather have a restored hall with wonderful grounds and lakes, and as a consequence some housing on the estate, or the estate left to it’s own devices , but no housing on their at all. The reason why I ask is it seems throughout this blog and depressed especially seems utterly against housing but no one seems to understand the money has to come from some where for us to have this wonderful site restored to something like it’s former glory.

    • very good point.

      The decline of the Hall and area is a long sad story. Unlike some who read this piece I am not against some housing but the housing on Netherhall was not used to pay for the renovation of the hall and land and that was the failure.

      Others will know the intricate details of how the land was passed from NHS to private hands etc but the Bovis development was not tied to the rest of it and that was the mistake.

      If only back in the 90’s a plan could have been put together between council and private where the Hall became a conference centre etc then who knows if that could have been a success.

      As it is we can only look towards this next step.

  14. ian
    that is a fair point, it is some of the comments i see on the site that saddens me, how we are condemning some one before they have even laid a brick. To assume these people have some hidden agenda is unfair(depressed) after all if it was about trying to make money there is a lot of other sites available out there especially in the current climate that they could pick up and “exploit” and make money on quite easily.

    I say lets give these people a chance and lets see what they do,are they trying to protect the hall or exploit the hall. After all can they be worse than the previous owner who let this go to ruin in the first place…

    I think anything these people do, should be legally tied to the restoration of the hall as an absolute must. After all we as locals have as much right to it as anyone else.

    • IF the Hall can be restored and I am not sure it can be.

      As for the other points, the key is that new owners should consult all parties. There is no residents association on Pheasey or surrounding areas so I understand all elected officials and the Likes of Peter Allen and Bob Winkle have been spoken to (GT Barr Observer said same thing).

      When the plans come forward I urge a full and proper public meeting to discuss the plans.

  15. p.s.

    i would love to see some pictures of its current state , as i tried to go down a couple of weeks ago and security wouldnt allow me on it.(i understood his reasons health and safety etc, and he was polite about it!!!)

    • On this site mate in the Great Barr hall posts, most recent I can find. If anyone reading this has any then please contact me

  16. I walk my dog there quite regularly and as has been said above, I’m just happy that the place isn’t being used by quadbikers etc any more!! It’s a lot quieter now and since the new owners security guards went in there’s a LOT less dodgy types hanging around now too!!

    I also think that the house needs to be saved, but as Ian says, there’s not a lot of it left. If it does get restored I’d prefer something nice and with at least nod towards the history of the place – rather not some glass fronted modern monstrosity which could happen if it’s knocked down!!

    For me, I’d rather see a few expensive houses put up rather than put up nearly 500 houses like Bovis did – NO-ONE WANTS THAT!!!

    As long as we can enjoy our walks by the lake with some beautiful scenery and in safety (there was always a few trees which fell down every time there was a storm!!) and it looks nice then I’m a realist and I wouldn’t mind some development to pay for that. At the moment it’s all so overgrown most places you couldn’t even see the lake and there were fires and little campsites \ drinking dens all over the place.

    To the conspiracy theorists – it can’t get burned down – there’s nothing left to burn last time I saw it!! – just bricks. Also it’s now got new scaffolding on it again so doubt they’d do that if it was just to burn it down again!!

    Not sure what others think, but I know myself and my neighbour know something will happen, just hope it’s not something that’s going to ruin the area, but so far it’s marginally better than it used to be. We’re both cautious, but hopeful it’ll get better rather than worse!!

  17. There is no doubt as just posted the new owners are serious about a good quality restoration, the things I am hearing from various parties are very promising. I wished these people had stepped forward a decade ago !

  18. I couldn’t agree more Ian, have you heard anything you can share about what they are looking to do?

    Being selfish here, as a local resident, the thing that interests me more than anything else is the view of the lakes from the road up alongside the estate, the ability for me to enjoy that view by walking around the lake, and whether the house is going to be ‘restored’ or at least brought back into use?

    IF they can make it beautiful again (and that’s the real question here), it’ll put a big smile on my face and they’ll do what Bovis, the NHS, the government, and the local council couldn’t do!!

    I just want somewhere that isn’t such an embarrasment to the area and will bring an end to 40 years of neglect of the area. I remember it from MANY years ago and I’m willing to bet at least 100 cars are in those lakes!!

    By the way I found this too (thanks Ian!)

  19. Agreed with Nearby. Im much happier that the site has less quadbikers on it! Fingers crossed the new security soon will have rid of completely.
    At least this time we can see actions from the owner rather than just words!
    No horrible Space Aged Glass building please!!

  20. Ian just read in the local press this Peter chap saying how annoyed he is that the architects are sending a questionnaire out to the local community in and around great Barr hall canvassing there opinions. I must say I am surprised by that, as this is the first time in a long time some one has asked our opinion on the matter. I along with a number of other residents are extremely happy they have done this, and I must say I am annoyed that this Peter seems to think he represents our views. What gives him the right to talk on our behalf???. As I understand the architects have been talking to him and bob on the whole project, but it doesn’t mean he talks on behalf of all of us. Sounds like a guy who thinks he is more important than he actually is. Out of curiosity how is qualified to talk about it anyway as he states he wants to Educate us on it!!!!!…. I emailed the architects and they tell me this is only one type of consultation they are doing, and my friend tells me from nether hall that at the weekend they told her they would be holding a public consultation aswell.. So hasn’t this guy jumped the gun..

    • I would like to see this questionnaire to see what they are asking. The problem is partly you have two different areas and issues. Added to that what some people may want would not be economically viable.

      I will not get one as I do not live close enough but any further development does affect the facilities on the whole estate and the traffic around here.

      I just read the piece in the observer (been away) and I can understand where Peter is coming from but until we see actual plans it is difficult to comment.

      After all consultation could be a cover and a pretence, I hope not.

  21. I agree with the other comments on here and Julian Hammond in the Mail, personally I’m glad that there’s some consultation going on and no-one has ever asked us before.
    As I’ve said before I’ve got more than just a passing aquaintance with the site having lived here for many years and think Peter may be a little misguided here. After all, you have mentioned that Peter has been involved, he himself says that he ought to be involved in telling the public what’s going on alongside the architects etc so he must know what’s going on? Is he involved or isn’t he? I hate all the doublespeak.

    P.S. I’ve seen the survey and there’s no mention of Alton Towers or anything like that at all. From what I can see, there was consultation promised, that’s whats happening so why all the fuss?

  22. P.S Not sure what you mean Ian, are you suggesting that we should see actual plans BEFORE the consultation???? Surely if that was the case then it WOULD be a pretence! Give the poor buggers a chance!!

    • depends, they brought the site on a commercial basis so housing will be part of their plans. what happens if it comes back 100% no housing for example.

      But I totally agree with your premise that consultation is good and at least there will be a sense of what people want. Hope they make the results public.

  23. Just reading the comments, if Peter is involved and the survey has no mention of theme park etc then why is Peter scaremongering and talking about Alton towers. That sounds highly irresponsible of the action group. ,,,!!!! According to the press the architects are consulting everyone and have had 20 consultation meetings so far and more planned. This sounds like serious stuff and didn’t you say Ian that they should consult everyone. So come on let’s support these people instead of mocking there efforts with childish remarks in the press to score a few points….

    • I do support consultation, totally but questionnaires can be designed to produce the result you want and should be only part of it.

      the real consultation are when the plans are unveiled and then we know what we are debating.

      The new owners so far have gone out of their way to talk and debate with local residents, long may it continue as a model on how developments should happen/

  24. Being a local resident who has had more than just a passing acquaintance with Great Barr Park, and from reading the comments on here along with the latest newspaper article, I feel questions need to be asked of Peter Allen.
    This whole scenario of Great Barr Hall should involve the whole community and not just one man!
    If this is the last chance for Great Barr Hall, (which I feel it is) then why try to scare away the new owners. Does he want to see it back in the auction?
    I’ve seen and filled in the survey, which is very reasonable (for those who feel it’s manufactured). It mentions nothing of “Alton Towers”, Peter has obviously been involved with this group from the beginning, and we have heard nothing but good, seen nothing but good actions from them. So why now the change of tune? Does he know something we do not? Or does he want to destroy what seems to be a decent effort to bring something back, rather than just a blight on the landscape?
    I appreciate he has done some good work on this, but I now also feel he could hamper a valid effort…how are they going to publish their plans, when we do nothing to support and just push this group into a corner?
    My fear is we could have another group of owners very soon, an owner who may not want our opinion or that of Peter.

  25. It’s available from the architects website, which is where I have filled in mine, and speaking to people the majority. After seeing it, I would like your thoughts please Ian.

  26. I’m glad from your comments that you feel the way most of us do. This really does feel as if It’s a genuine effort. I do hope so x

  27. Martina
    I have read all the comments above and as a former member of the hospital i have been lucky enough to have met with Lapworths. The info they gave me was that they have distributed thousands of questionaires to town hall, community centres, pubs, libraries etc asking for opinions re. the hall. It is also on their website. After the closing date they intend to run a series of local meetings some in the day and others at night to discuss the findings and answer any questions. They also disclosed that they are going to restore the hall fully but are unsure what it will be used for? It will not be used for any kind of theme park. Incidently they only own the hall, lakes and sutton drive. Bovis still own the “Male side”.

  28. Reading the above comment I received a questionnaire on crail gr. and filled it out . It had nothing to do with a theme park and was extremely dissatisfied to read the action groups comments in the press. It makes you think maybe they want to scupper any attempt to restore the site, otherwise why else would they make such a ludicrous statement. The action group have been working with the owners and should now publicly apologise to the owners for such an irresponsible statement. After all they quick enough to run to the press in the first place. Let’s hope the owners don’t give up on this for the sake of the local people, and I hope the action group see sense and think of the bigger picture after all it affects all of us and not just one man…!!!!

  29. I have been away over the summer period and have just come back to this, seeing comments by locals on different sites such as :
    All have one thing in common, how silly the action group has become!
    Mr Allen should be lucky he is even involved, can you imagine a big developer asking for his help? I think not!
    Mr Allen should apologise and take a back seat. Let the rest of us have our say.

    • the big test will come when we see the first plans unveiled and how it will be paid for, only then will we truly know if good, bad or indifferent for the area.

      how many houses will have to go on the land to pay for this ?

  30. I understand. As you have pointed out before a few houses yes another Bovis style development then no. Hopefully we see them soon but we need to let them draw the plans rather than scare them away. This is an opportunity to have our say.

    • Indeed it is Mark and then we can go to their roadshows they will hold to see what the plans are.

      At least this way developers will understand what residents and interested parties will want.

  31. Whatever people may think of the disparate views that have been propounded within newspaper articles, in letters and in leaflets from Peter Allen since the 1970’s, myself since the 1980’s and from Ian Robathan over the past few years, one thread links us; we each give out our full names and addresses. So if anyone wanted to discuss anything face to face with us, well we’re each of us not exactly difficult to find.
    It’s so easy to my view to attack for example Peter Allen, while hiding behind just a Christian name/first name or a pseudonym as a number of individuals on this site have recently done.
    Why not give your full or real names? Then everyone on here will be able to see/gauge for example just how local to Pheasey/Park Farm you actually are.
    With regard to the future of Great Barr Hall/Great Barr Park and the ‘consultation’ on offer from the current owners/developers and their architects, well like a number of local residents i’ve discussed this with; and just as Ian is doing, i’m waiting to see what the actual plans/intentions are before i give an opinion.

    • We can not do anything other Steve.

      However …..

      We have to remember if they totally want to rebuild the hall (we should all applaud that,) just how much would that cost ?

      OK you could make it an Hotel and get someone in as a tenant but you are talking millions and millions. It is how that will be paid for is the big question we await the answer for.

    • Steve I appreciate what you say, however you are in politics, and it kind of comes with the territory for people to have access to those who represent in voting etc.
      The rest of us choose to keep our privacy, I as a woman do not want to brandish all my details over the internet.
      I do not live on the Pheasey, but live by the Scott arms, which does not make me any less towards the Hall. It’s still Great Barr!
      As I had mentioned before, Peter has done some good work, but the article comes across as if we know nothing of Great Barr Hall, and that our opinion is not as important as his. Which has disgruntled locals.
      The owners are consulting locals and the action group, to find out what we all want, or would you prefer them to publish plans which are pf no use to the community and not consult us?
      Also Brenda on this site has spoken with them and these meetings are planned.

  32. dear all,
    I sent a email to lapworth architect in august asking to b kept upto date about future developments regarding the GBH. I recieved an email yesterday saying
    Dear Pat,
    Further to your request previously to be kept up to date regarding progress on matters relating to the Great Barr Hall. I can confirm that a community consultation questionnaire has been issued and circulated to residents that live within close proximity of the Hall.
    The questionnaire has also been distributed to Libraries, Leisure centres and Museums (including the New Art Gallery) across Walsall.
    The deadline for completing the questionnaire was originally the 10th September however due to a number of requests for the deadline to be extended we have decided to allow people to continue to complete the questionnaire up until the 16th September 2012.
    I am attaching a copy of the community consultation questionnaire to this email and we would be delighted if you have not already done so, complete and return the attached or alternatively complete the online version of the questionnaire
    May I take this opportunity once again to thank you for your continued interest in the Great Barr Hall and registered Park.
    Should you have any questions that need answering please do not hesitate to contact our office and speak to myself directly.
    Kindest Regards

    Mike Lapworth

    if you havent already done so then u still have chnce to have ur voice heard…

  33. Hi Hayley,
    When i first had letters printed in local newspapers in the 1980’s, i was not a member of any political party or involved in local politics in any way; My name and address were given to the papers concerned. I was introduced to local historian Peter Allen by (the now deceased) Bill Newman later in the 1980’s; and in all the years since, i’ve never known Peter to be involved with any political party, nor be involved in local politics to any degree. His address and occasionally a contact number have been included in a number of the many newspaper articles written by Peter and featured in, for example, The Great Barr Observer; and his address and a contact number have also appeared on leaflets issued by Peter down the years; So i don’t really buy into your argument for not giving a full name instead of just a Christian name/first name or hiding behind a pseudonym.
    I note that 5 individuals, each claiming to be local residents and using just Christian names or pseudonyms, have now supplied links on this blog to the ‘consultation’ form/questionnaire compiled and issued by the new owners of Great Barr Hall and their agents. If Peter, myself, Ian and other long time (and non-politically affiliated) local campaigners to preserve Great Barr Hall and keep all development out of our green belt Great Barr Park, such as Gill and Steve Kain and Ian Phillips can give their full names and addresses when having (for example) letters published in local newspapers, well it appears odd to me that other individuals claiming to be interested local residents seem unable to do likewise.

    • I find your response quite hypocritical, as within this blog you have quite happily had a conversation with “Depressed”, if that’s not a pseudonym then I do not know what is? :s
      Clearly a lot of people including you Ian and Peter have done a lot of good work in preserving the great barr hall over the last 30 years.
      However that does not mean I and other residents have to agree or support all of your thoughts and opinions concerning the Hall.
      In the same way I do not support the statements made by Peter Allen I am unable to support your comments made above.
      I am a firm supporter of anonymity on the internet and I know this is also supported by all major UK political parties and governments across the democratic world.
      Would local commenters – good, bad or neutral – take the time to stop by and debate on diversity or immigration within Walsall, or on their views on women’s place in the workplace if they thought their opinion was instantly traceable? Would they self-censor, keen to keep their online reputation free of political opinion or would you just participate less?
      Ianrobo has also shared the link to the ‘consultation’, and has also stated he does not agree with Peter’s comments, in a new blog on this web page. So people who are happy to show their details also agree.
      I will not be bullied and intimated into divulging my details, and it does not make my views any less!
      So I really cannot see where you are coming from, when you have not attacked “Depressed” in the same way, but quite happily had a conversation!!!

  34. Hayley I run other blogs and anonymous contributions are part of it and those contributions are just as valid as named ones.

    What this debate has shown is I think there is pretty well 100% agreement on what is not needed at the Hall but some debate at what is wanted and what can be afforded

  35. Hi Hayley,
    I responded to comments posted by ‘Saddened’ back in early July (a response, not a conversation); and before the ‘consultation’/questionnaire was issued by the current owners of Great Barr Hall and their agents; and before the debate regarding the Hall and Great Barr Park had an aggressive, mostly anonymously based, anti Peter Allen slant injected into it.
    Whatever anyone else thinks of posting comment anonymously anywhere on the internet is their business; I prefer not to do so and my preference is, as i’ve stated previously, for people making comment of any kind to do so openly and not from out of the shadows.

  36. Checking back, that response to a post i made back in early July was actually to comments made by ‘Depressed’; and not to comments made by ‘Saddened’.

  37. Steve, you’ve spent a very long time doing nothing other than taking potshots at others and casting aspersions on everyone else I guess this is standard wannabe politician training. Ian on the other hand has had the guts to express an opinion as well as share information (as I and others were doing for other interested in the hall). As to the name thing, I couldn’t care less what you think .

    Rather than yet another round of ‘telling everyone else why they are wrong’, perhaps you can tell us why you are right?

    What do YOU think should be done with Great Barr Hall and how \ by whom should it be paid for?

    Straight question, let’s see if you can manage a straight answer.

    • the question every resident, politican and interested party must answer, is what level of housing (and type) are you prepared to see ?

      the supplementary is that simply the facilities on the whole Nether Hall estate and beyond must improve

  38. Hi Nearby,
    ‘Wannabe politician’ eh! The number of Local Elections and General Elections i’ve been selected by UKIP to stand in, in Streetly, Pheasey/Park Farm and in West Bromwich East (Parliamentary Election only); i’d say make me more than that; but if you think otherwise, then of course you’re entitled to your opinion.
    With regard to what i think should be done with Great Barr Hall; well my view remains unchanged from when i joined (the late) Bill Newman, Gloria Newman, Ian Phillips, Darren Porter, Gill and Steve Kain and many other Pheasey/Park Farm residents back in the 1980’s, (joining long time campaigners from the 1970’s, Peter Allen and Bob Winkle) in our fight to have the Hall and the parkland fully refurbished. Walsall NHS Trust and Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council allowed the Hall to fall into disrepair in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s; and then allowed the Hall and some of the parkland to be sold off against sound advice and the wishes of local residents; and like many other locals i feel that both bodies should ultimately be forced to pay to put the Hall and the park to rights.
    You’ve stated that Ian Robathan has given his opinion on what should be done with the Hall by the new owners and how any refurbishment should be paid for?????
    Incorrect. Ian, like myself, is very sensibly waiting until the new owners of the Hall and surrounding parkland outline their plans for the future of Great Barr Hall and the area of Great Barr Park that they now own, before he gives his opinion.

    • but the question Steve is how much housing are you prepared to have to get the hall back ?

      say the hall need £4M of funding that is a lot of housing. Now of course we have to wait and see the full consultation and then proposals but I am cautious how how this can be funded without public money and therefore a lot of housing.

      Now of course they could build 10 £1M homes on there and find it that way leaving profit for the owners and leaving residents fairly happy.

      Interesting time to come.

  39. Hi Ian,
    How much more housing am i prepared to have in our green belt Great Barr Park to pay for refurbishment of Great Barr Hall?
    Absolutely none, not one more house is my answer. That is also UKIP policy regarding Great Barr Park and the wider local green belt area here.
    Derek Bennett, Walsall UKIP Branch Chairman, Mike Nattrass, UKIP’s Member of the European Parliament for this area; and UKIP’s local press agent Craig Wynyard, are all looking at this issue with keen interest; as i’m sure that you would fully expect them to.
    Myself, UKIP, Chris Newey and the Pheasey/Park Farm Branch of the English Democratic Party and i’m sure many, many other residents of Pheasey/Park Farm will completely oppose any proposal to build any more housing in OUR Great Barr Park whatsoever.
    Very interesting times to come indeed, i agree!!!!!!!!!!

    • So if your answer is not one iota (you mentioned one person there who stood in two different wards apart from his own in two different councils !!) of house building.


      How do you think they will pay the millions needed for the restoration and get a return back on the approx 800K paid already and money spent on the consultation would not be cheap !

  40. Hi Ian,
    Wherever that one loyal Pheasey/Park Farm resident chose to stand in the last local elections is absolutely irrelevant. When the former Mayor of Walsall, Bill Newman, was the senior UKIP representitive and Local Election candidate in Pheasey/Park Farm, i was for example, the UKIP candidate for Streetly in (three) Local Elections.
    I answered your hypothetical question regarding further concreting over of OUR Green belt Great Barr Park; but speculating on what the current owners of Great Barr Hall and some of the surrounding parkland are intending to do in relation to the Hall and the area around it is really pointless. We have to wait and see what their proposals actually are before any of us can realistically give any sound opinions whatsoever regarding this subject.

    • We can speculate based on known costs.

      So for example I know when Randy Lerner brought Villa he inherited the Grade 2 listed Holte Pub.

      The pub though derelict was in miles better condition than Great Barr Hall and to replicate what it was cost £4M

      Great Barr Hall is what ? 10 times bigger if not more than the pub ? And in far far worse state.

      The question to ask at the public consultations is how much are their base costs and how will they fund it.

  41. Hi Ian,
    Randy Lerner would have been better off just buying the Holte pub, than buying the ‘Vile’.
    Great Barr Hall in it’s current state is in far better condition than the present Vile first team squad, which for most of the last twelve months has resembled a pretty average Sunday League pub side. Shame we couldn’t have relegated the Vile again at the end of last season, as we did at the Hawthorns in April 1959, the greatest day in world football history.
    Sunday September 30th, bring it on!!!!!!!! ‘Boing Boing’!!!!!!!!!!
    Fear God, Love Our Queen, Hate the Vile!!!!!

  42. My what rant! It does not matter what us residents want,the useless Council of any party in Walsall will not give a toss about Pheasey/parkF residents,anymore than the Thatcherite UKIP morons,so sit back and wait like the phone mast soon forgotten.DJ.

    • DJ, no one has forgotten the mast at all but it is clear the total mess by the planning department makes it almost impossible to remove it.

      Of course it is the fact, it has always been the fact that Pheasey has been totally ignored by the powers that be (of all colours) at the council for a long time. I could go into a political discussion on why and how come we ended up with some cash before the last election but for another place.

      It is why I believe Pheasey in the next council boundary reviews should look elsewhere, towards maybe councils that would take more notice, be it Sandwell or Birmingham.

      However for another debate !!

  43. Margaret Thatcher and her useless Government (overseeing the liberation of our kinfolk in the Falkland Islands aside) were responsible for taking the United Kingdom deeper into the EEC/EC (now the EU) between 1979 and 1990. I’ve met a large number of UKIP members from all over the UK since 2001, i’ve yet to meet one of them with a decent word to say about Thatcher, apart from for her role in the Falklands war; or for UKIP members to have a good word to say about virtually anyone else from the three Tory Fib/Lab/Con parties.
    I doubt DJ, that you’ve ever met or had a conversation with anyone from UKIP; I find UKIP members to be intelligent and very politically aware and very astute; in fact the very opposite of your derogatory assessment of UKIP members/supporters/voters. Approximately five hundred and thirty residents in Pheasey/Park Farm voted UKIP in May in the Local Elections; and like myself i’m sure that they are all passionate in their desire to keep any more development out of our green belt Great Barr Park.
    Pheasey/Park Farm residents on Collingwood Drive, Yeames Close, Beacon Road, Waverley Avenue, Pinley Grove and Stonehurst Road, were good enough to put ‘Vote UKIP’ posters in their windows in May, i didn’t see any posters for the Tory Euro-Labour or Conservative parties anywhere in Pheasey.

  44. Hi Ian,
    Any attempt at gerrymandering and moving Pheasey/Park Farm to another Council area, will i’m sure be bitterly resisted by a large number of local residents.
    If you want to be a citizen of, for example, North Warwickshire, why not sell your house and move to Birmingham. The majority Staffordians here in Pheasey/Park Farm will i’m sure wish you bon voyage.

  45. Sadly Steve a lot of telly pictures at the UKIP conference showed many pictures of Thatcher in the hall and lets not forget N.Farage has spoken on radio of his awe and wonderment of the evil witch, as have others from UKIP.which is very sad and off putting.A boundary change will make no difference to housing on Great Barr Hall its inevitable,no matter who we get,Apathy rules as the politician like it!

  46. Hi DJ.,
    I saw just one single photograph of Thatcher at the UKIP conference on tv. Whenever i’ve heard Nigel Farage or other members of UKIP speak in praise of Thatcher, it’s been in relation to the very positive role that she played as Prime Minister between April and July 1982, in helping ensure that our kinfolk in the Falkland Islands were freed from captivity and draconian rule by invading fascist forces from Argentina.
    Most UKIP members i’ve met blame Thatcher and her rotton to the core Europhile Governments for handing increasing amounts of British sovereignty over to the EEC/EC (now the EU) between 1979 and 1990.
    Having yet more unwanted housing in Great Barr Park is not inevitable; Myself and i’m sure many of my neighbours and other Pheasey/Park Farm residents will fight to keep any further unwelcome housing development occurring in OUR park.

  47. Steve, before you give the words on that last statement how would you fund any rebuilding without housing ?

    without that being answered then you are saying nothing more can happen ?

    By ruling out one option so much you leave few other alternatives if you can provide ideas on other forms of funding.

    • Steve you are coming across as extremely irrational and more than a little silly. We want the park back and available for use by the public. You saying that the NHS and Council must pay in such economic times makes as much sense as saying the tooth fairy is going to pay to open the parkland and house back for public use. If as you say, this was your approach in the eighties then it seems you’ve not learned anything in 30 years and the park is doomed to stay derelict for another 30 years. It’s not green belt right now, it’s just ugly scrubland where the local scrotes hang around and our houses get burgled from. I live on the estate and disagree with almost everything you’ve said. Have you spoken to the Police recently?

      • Hence no one should have a closed mind, await the consultation and see what is presented by the owners and architects.

        then we can have a rational debate over what is best for the estate, the owners, the hall, the park land.

      • That’s exactly what I’m doing Ian, but to be honest it’s hard to stay quiet when one person seems so intent to assert their views on everyone else. I’ve no idea who he is, yet he seems clearly intent on causing trouble. I’m a professional person and quite capable of making up my own mind thank you very much. I’d suggest Steve keeps his own counsel a little more and stops trying to grandstand so much. V irritating!!

  48. Paul for the first time in my lifetime on this estate we are actually being consulted on something important. That means a lot to me and I will go to any consultation with an open mind on what they say.

  49. Hi Ian,
    My answer is the same as it’s always been; i will oppose any further attempts to put more housing in Great Barr Park, as i’m sure will many of my neighbours and other local residents, who fought so hard to keep the Bovis development out of our park. UKIP policy is also to oppose all housing applications for Great Barr Park and the wider green belt area in and around Pheasey/Park Farm.
    Paul; You may think that i’m coming across as ‘extremely irrational and more than a little silly’. Myself certainly; and hopefully the (approx) five hundred and thirty people who voted for me in Pheasey/Park Farm in May’s Local Council Elections would disagree with your opinion.
    Of course all of us (surely) want the park back in public use; and as Walsall NHS Trust and Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council are responsible for neglecting the park since the 1970’s, it’s not just myself here locally that believe they should ultimately pay to put it to rights.
    I have spoken to the local police on more than one occasion in recent months at meetings of the Pheasey/Park Farm Neighbourhood Watch. I’m well aware, like most local residents, of the problem of numbers of troublemakers/criminals hanging around in the park, quite a few of whom have been persistently tearing through the park on quad bikes. A problem that Walsall Police are trying hard to eradicate completely.
    Personally, i couldn’t care less if you find myself or my comments ‘v irritating’ or not. I’ve lived in Pheasey/Park Farm for many years and like yourself i’m entitled to my opinions. Likewise, if you consider me to be in your words ‘grandstanding’ and ‘intent on causing trouble’, well so what? You have your viewpoint and i have mine, which i will express however and whenever i see fit.

  50. yet again Steve you have totally missed a straight answer.

    You oppose any further development of housing on the land, so how can the grounds and what remains of the Hall be funded to try and preserve something ?

    I presume has you are part of UKIP who believe in minimal public spending you would want this to be funded by private money, how ?

  51. Hi Ian,
    The answer i’ve given you looks fairly straightforward and pretty direct enough from my perspective.
    Unfortunately, neither you nor i own Great Barr Hall and a proportion of the parkland surrounding it, so we are not in a position to outline how funding; and in particular private funding, can be raised to refurbish and restore both; That surely is the task of the current owners; and until such time as they publish their plans for the Hall and section of the park they own, then all of the questions that each of us on this blog raise with regard to this subject are only hypothetical. Interesting, but never the less, hypothetical.
    UKIP do not believe in minimal public spending, but do strongly advocate a much more prudent use of the public purse. For example, with regard to Local Councils, we would immediately abolish the Local Government Association; and scrap all Local Council ‘non-jobs’, for example European Union Officers, interpreters and Climate Change Officers, would lose their ‘non-jobs’, saving Council’s and Council Tax Payers millions of pounds at a stroke.

  52. Attended this evenings consultation@ Collingwood centre. A slick presentation by the architects. Good luck to the owners & developers in their endeavours to make ‘a silk purse from a sow’s ear’
    Well, it appears that further housing will be included in this development, I sense an exclusive & secured estate.The present owners have quite rightly secured the area to discourage undesirables & their unsociable activities but from personal observation, I have noted evidence of ‘drinking dens’
    near the entrance to the Nether Hall Estate (the problems do not go away, they crop up elsewhere)
    I sincerely trust that the new development turns out to be all that’s hoped for, unlike the Bovis estate ( if ever there was a case for ‘Rogue Traders’ this is one) We learned tonight, that the residents of Nether Hall will be paying a management fee for upkeep of the area, presumably this is in addition to council tax. I wonder who this will be paid to as I’ve been informed that Bovis no longer own the woodland adjoining Park Farm/Foxwood Avenue.My enquiries to both Walsall council, local councillors & Bovis have proved fruitless.So, who do Nether Hall & Park Farm residents refer to when they have issues?

  53. Thanks Margaret as I mentioned on another post I Was unable to attend this due to work commitments.

    So some points

    Nether Hall has not been adopted by the Council so any upkeep on roads etc is now to the residents there.

    As for the woodland any ownership of this land should be seen in the Land Registry lists. The local council and councillors should be aware of this and I am disappointed no response was received.

    Then you have the big issue, the issue that is well known. The only way to restore the area with out public money is through the building of housing. that will be the debate as we move on and I am sure it will inflame views.

    In my view I see no alternative to some building on there to preserve the land, there will be no public money for this. So the choice then becomes stark.

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