• Protecting heritage - we want to safeguard the historic environment and assets including the former Grove Colliery site

Protecting heritage

We want to ensure the historic environment and heritage assets of the parish are properly looked after, including the former Grove Colliery site.

There are only three statutorily listed buildings in the Parish, St James the Great Parish Church, Little Wyrley Hall and the main barn adjoining Little Wyrley Hall.

We carried out a survey of buildings within the village which are of heritage interest together with all the farmhouses and farm buildings which are mostly in the ownership of Wyrley Estates and are south of Watling Street.

Cottages on Commonside and the former buildings of the Cathedral Pit are also of heritage value.

We have identified the former Grove Colliery as having potential for heritage-led regeneration. It has several buildings relating to its mining heritage, some of which are vacant and in poor condition. Others are in use by tenants of Wyrley Estates.

It is the one remaining site in Cannock Chase District which contains significant links to the former coal mining industry, an important part of the District’s heritage.

It is also next to the Cannock Extension Canal, which is both an asset and a constraint on development because of its status as a Special Area of Conservation. The site is also in the Green Belt.

Ownership of the Grove site is split between Wyrley Estates and Cannock Chase District Council.

Measures to protect these sites could include:

Identifying buildings within the village and the rural parts of the parish which are of non-statutory heritage value and could be candidates for Local Listing. That would ensure any proposals for demolition or insensitive alterations would need to fully take account of the heritage value. A flexible approach could be taken to supporting alternative uses of these buildings in order to establish viable uses instead of demolition if the existing use is no longer viable.

The former Grove Colliery site raises complex planning issues and an overall ‘Masterplan’ taking in the wider context of the site, including Wyrley Common, the Cannock Extension Canal and the surrounding footpath network, is likely to be the most appropriate approach. Some form of ‘enabling development’ may be required as an exception to normal Green Belt policy in order to achieve restoration of the buildings on the site and realise its potential as a heritage and leisure hub. 

Supporting consideration of Conservation Area status for the hamlet of Little Wryley with its historic buildings and farmstead landscape; and the potential to include the industrial heritage of the former Grove Colliery and its canal wharf.

How do you think we can protect heritage sites in the area?

Do you know of any buildings in the Parish which should be considered for Local Listing? And what do you think of our ‘first thoughts list’?

Do you agree that a special effort should be made to regenerate the former Grove Colliery site to secure its mining heritage including, if necessary, allowing some new development there?

Do you consider that Little Wyrley, Grove Colliery and the Cannock Extension Canal are worthy of extra protection by designation of a Conservation Area?

Tell us your thoughts, fill in the form below with your comments.

6 + 14 =