Rather Nice, Actually – Planning application for Highfields Farm, Walsall Wood

Just to clear up any confusion, there are two Highfields Farms in the area. One, I’ve blogged about before, on Pool Road at Chasewater. It was up for auction last time I visited and to the best of my knowledge, has no planning applications outstanding yet. The other used to stand before the Jockey Meadows on the Lichfield Road in Walsall Wood, next to the former Horse and Jockey pub, on the very border of Walsall Wood and Shelfield. Both have suffered periods of dereliction. That’s the one I’m talking about here.

How Highfields Farm looked prior to demolition - not a pretty sight
How Highfields Farm looked prior to demolition - not a pretty sight - photo from planning documents
And from the back - not entirely pleasant either
And from the back - not entirely pleasant either - photo from planning documents

I just thought I’d bring to the attention of blog readers and residents of Walsall Wood that pleasant changes are afoot. Highfields Farm had stood next to the Horse & Jockey pub for years, just on the edge of the wet farmland known locally as ‘Jockey Meadows’ – the farmland always seemed to be wet, and the cattle kept there up until 1992 often looked dirty and miserable in the fields by Lichfield Road. In recent times, it had become derelict and empty – most of the outbuildings had collapsed through neglect and rubbish was strewn across the site. Finally, in 2008, after being sold to a buyer with plans for a new house, it was demolished. Highfields Farm was a typical late Victorian building in the style of many in the area, was in dreadful repair, an in my opinion is no great loss. Since demolition, the site seems to have been used as a builders yard, but recently I notice planning application 09/0609/FL had been submitted to the council (I can’t link directly, click the link and enter the number in the search box). This application is requesting permission for a new bungalow, built largely from reclaimed materials from, and similar new materials to the ones originally present in the farmhouse. An excellent discussion of the recent history of the farm and the plans for its’ replacement can be viewed here (PDF format, Adobe Reader required), in the design and access statement submitted to Walsall Council’s planning office, and freely available on their information page for the application.

The bungalow proposed appears to be an attractive and well designed dwelling that stands in pretty much the same position as the original house, and I think it should be welcomed as another addition to the often interesting achitecture of Walsall Wood.

Approval has yet to be granted, watch this space or the council’s planning website for further information. I wish the applicants the best of luck in their endeavour.

Proposed bungalow: Front elevation
Proposed bungalow: Front elevation - from planning drawings
Proposed bungalow: rear elevation
Proposed bungalow: Rear elevation - from planning drawings

Direct links to documents in PDF format on Walsall Council’s planning website:

design and access statement existing block plan photographs proposed block plan proposed plans and elevations proposed site layout

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12 Comments

  • Actually, I rather liked the old farmhouse, and there’s a few like that in the area I like.

    Having said that, you’re right. That’s not bad, especially if done with reclaimed materials. If [lanning can be granted to demolish the old school and replace it with a bland modern block, then surely this should breeze through?

     
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  • Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

     
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  • Trudy

    Hi I was wondering if you could help me? I have fell in love with a boarded up old detached bungalow on the Lichfield Road – I think it would be classed as Walsall Wood. How would i find more info – or can you help? Thank you

     
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  • A planning application was passed some time ago (2008 I think) to demolish the bungalow and most of the school and replace them with a block of apartments resembling the old school. The bungalow would be lost for parking.
    My understanding is that both the bungalow and the school are owned by the same freeholder, and do not appear to be up for sale.
    On a side note, that house has been empty so long I doubt that it would be remotely habitable or structurally safe. Sad, really, it’s been empty as long as I can remember.

    Best wishes

    Bob

     
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  • Daisy Wilton

    The bungalow and school belong to the same owner as the nursery which is behind the school. The owner at first wanted to open a residential home for the elderly with the bungalow as staff housing. This obviously hasn’t gone ahead and their plans may have changed. It might be worth speaking to the owner via the nursery.

     
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  • Philip Rogers

    Following all of the laying of cables on the A5 up to White Horse Road recently, I’ve heard today that there is or might be a planning application in for a hotel and 200 houses in the old Highfield Farm Chasewater area. I’ve has a bit so an online search but can’t find anything. Do you know anything about this Bob?

     
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  • Philip Rogers

    thanks Bob, it’s a little puzzling because my information source is usually very good indeed. Anyway it’s been an interesting afternoon delving into the locality

     
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    • There are a number of factors there that would lead me to conclude this is false. My other issue would be that footings of a new house can clearly be seen on the site now…

      Cheers, and welcome
      Bob

       
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  1. Planning application submitted for Highfield Farm, Chasewater « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  August 27, 2010

    […] and of little historical or aesthetic merit, I can’t see any problem with the proposal. Like its namesake in Walsall Wood, now a rather attractive, quirky bungalow, I suspect the days of this old farmhouse may too be […]

     
  2. Milking it | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  March 22, 2014

    […] there are other lost farms, too, like Sunnyside, Swingbridge, Shire Oak Farm, the two Highfields Farms – and those still extant like Home Farm and Big House […]

     
  3. From Brownhills to Brandwood – a sad but fascinating history | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  August 9, 2014

    […] in the canal at Pleck in 1915, and on the history of Highfields House in Bloxwich (Highfields is a remarkably common name, it seems, a point other historians may wish to consider when making wild […]

     

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