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Call for preservation as historic hall goes on sale.

An historic stately home which has been the subject of a bitter dispute between property developers and local historians has been put up for sale.

Great Barr Hall, situated on the site of the former St Margaret's Hospital near Walsall, is on the market for more than pounds 2 million. Current owners Manor Building Preservation Trust is asking pounds 2.2 million for the Grade II*-listed hall, which dates back to 1777 and is the former home of local landowners the Scott family that gave its name to the nearby Scott Arms district.

Local campaigners have battled for the hall to revert to public ownership hall since the controversial buy-out by the trust. The sale is being handled by Buckinghamshire-based property agent Van Weenen. It states the dilapidated hall building is included in 50 acres of grounds - and there could be an additional opportunity to purchase a further 100 acres of listed parkland by separate negotiation.

The agent's description states: "The hall offers scope to be increased or reduced in size, and subject to consent, lends itself readily as a boutique hotel, nursing home or company headquarters.

"There may also be further scope for a bespoke residential development of one or two properties in their own prescribed lakeside position. We are favoured with instructions by way of special dispensation from the trustees to find a suitable custodian to safeguard this magnificent estate."

Registered charity Manor Building Preservation Trust vowed to create redevelopment plans after buying the hall, near to a Bovis development of executive homes, from receivers for less than pounds 900,000 in 2003. Bob Winkle, secretary of the local area Beacon Action Group, has urged preservation.

He said: "The last thing we want is more development."


Great Barr Hall, which dates back to 1777, is one the market for pounds 2.2 million
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 19, 2011
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