By Carl Jackson 18/05 Updated: 21/05 21:24
THE OLD Longbridge railway station ticket office will be demolished after the consutlation period on the plans expired on Sunday (May 13).
St Modwen, which is behind the regeneration of the former MG Rover site, submitted the application on April 23.
Birmingham City Council has not made a final decision yet, but an online petition against the demolition was sent to the authority before the deadline. The petition, set up by B31 Voices, has seen 173 signatures collected in five days.
Richard Laundon who signed the petition said: “It will be really sad if this is just torn down like the other historic buildings from the former Austin works.
“We need to get an appeal added to the application so the council knows how the local people think of this latest act of vandalism by St Modwen.”
However, others did see the practicality of pulling down the building that has not been used for nearly 50 years.
Trudy Cutts said: “I understand it’s a piece of local history, but will the station blend in with the new development?
“The station is tired and dated, so maybe it should come down.”
Dave Adams, who has set up a ‘Northfield Past’ history group on Facebook with more than 2,500 members, said St Modwen was removing all links to the MG/Rover works. He said it went against Worcestershire County Council’s remit to enhance the historic, industrial cultural heritage of the site.
Dave added: “So many of my family members, even as far back as my great grandfather at one time or another, worked at the Austin/MG Rover car factory.
“What I find shameful is no official public consultation has taken place and the first people heard of the plans to demolish it was through the small A4 notice attached to the building.”
Mike Murray, senior development surveyor at St Modwen, said the old ticket office on Bristol Road South had been unused since the 1960s and was in a derelict state.
“It is a dangerous place for those people regularly gaining unauthorised access to the building.
“St Modwen received planning permission to demolish the building from Birmingham City Council in 2008.
“Its removal will assist in our work to build the new £2million two-acre Austin Park which will lead to the opening up of the River Rea for the first time in 100 years.
“Austin Park will play a central part in the new £70million Longbridge Town Centre which is currently under construction and will be completed next year.”
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