City of Wolverhampton Council has warned the owners of the former Eye Infirmary site they risk facing prosecution if they fail to address the poor condition of the land and buildings.

The Council recognises the importance of this iconic site on an important gateway into the city centre on Compton Road in Chapel Ash.

Despite not being the owner of the site, the Council is determined to see it brought back to life, so it brings jobs, opportunities and investment to Wolverhampton – and is seeking an urgent update from the owner, BZ Property Holdings, on the status of the site and their disposal plans.

The council tried to engage with previous owners, the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, to regenerate the site and made several offers to purchase the building, which were rejected. The Trust failed to secure and maintain the premises and never submitted a planning application for the site. 

It allowed the site to become an eyesore and the Council initiated legal proceedings against the Trust to get it tidied up.

At that point the Trust chose to sell the site to BZ Property Holdings, who were fully aware of the significance of the historic Victorian building. 

City of Wolverhampton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “It is hugely disappointing that the current owners have failed to move things forward.

“It is unacceptable that they have allowed the land and buildings to fall into such a state of disrepair and we will take legal action against them if necessary.

“The Council is eager to see a scheme delivered that makes best use of the former Victorian Eye Infirmary building and benefits the City of Wolverhampton.”

An agreement between BZ Property Holdings and a reputable and experienced developer of historic buildings, Gr8 Space, was reached and the Council had been working with Gr8 Space to ensure a deliverable, sensitive and comprehensive redevelopment scheme was brought forward alongside an application to West Midlands Combined Authority for grant funding to support proposals.

Unfortunately, the agreement has now lapsed, with the owner deciding to re-market the site rather than renew the agreement.

The Council understands Gr8 Space still remain interested in developing the site alongside other parties.