Moseley Road towards regenerated future for historic route

Nearly four years after Birmingham Post writer Terry Grimley wrote of his fear for a row of early Victorian Villas on the Old Moseley Road, Terry Grimley: No.50 route shows Moseley Road’s decline, it seems their future will be secured by a plan to covert them into a facility for adult education and a charity base.

Early Victorian villas which would be much in demand as offices if they were in Edgbaston but are now largely empty and boarded up. I fear for their future.

Whether this promising future for the buildings can extend to nearby threatened buildings remains to be seen but it is a welcome start to a mile long section of the Moseley Road which contains a number of important historical buildings including the former Moseley tram depot on the corner of Trafalgar Road, the Friends' Institute, Moseley Road Edwardian Baths and former Moseley School of Art.

The Birmingham Conservation Trust wrote of a new group formed in 2008 aimed at protecting the buildings on this mile long stretch and regenerating the area which contains 26 listed builngs along it's stretch between Bradford Street and the Alcester Road junction in Moseley,

The Victorian Society considers the former Moseley School of Art, a Grade II* building of 1898 by W.H.Bidlake, one the ten most endangered Victorian buildings in Britain,

This is an area of Birmingham where a remarkable number of distinguished Victorian and Edwardian buildings still survive, but like the Moseley Road Baths opposite the School of Art is crying out for investment and care. The school was built in the ‘Wrenaissance' style to the designs of the exceptional Birmingham Arts and Crafts architect, W.H.Bidlake. It closed down in 1975 and the building now belongs to the British Association of Muslims. Its condition is steadily deteriorating and is a cause of great concern for local heritage campaigners. Action needs to be taken soon to ensure that this attractive and important building has a future.

The plans for the row of buildings, numbers 332 -346 on Old Moseley Road opposite Joseph Chamberlain College, will see their now forlorn appearance restored to their former glory. The front facing onto Moseley road will see restoration including the removal of a newer link between 338 and 340 and a roller shuttered vehicle entrance at the end of the listed houses. The rear of the houses will feature a new glazed corridor replacing the substantial destruction of the rear of the houses during the 20th century.

The existing street frontages are also typical of 1830-1840 semi-detached villas: two storey high stucco facades with symmetrical grand window openings and central doorways. The two villas to the north both have two tripartite corniced rectangular bay windows at ground floor level, added later, circa 1860. These are boarded up at present as are the doors and windows to all the villas at ground floor level.

The planning documents for the redevelopment, 2012/01155/PA & 2012/01154/PA, show the development aims to create a 'social enterprise hub' with business incubation and start up units, community rehersal and performance / exhibition space, a cafe and creche. The developers are keen that the site should also provide education, training and employment opportunities and they aim to provide adult education linked to neighbouring Joseph Chamberlain College together with the relocation of Moseley and District Churches Association.


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Mr Splosh said…
Hi Simon,
I've been enjoying your blog for months but never had anything specific to comment on. Just wanted to say I like your articles and your photos - and you have some great aerial views over our city. The combination of architectural interest and artist photography is very pleasing.


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