Historic Birmingham pub fails to sell at auction

Owner Raj Lal remains upbeat despite lack of buyers saying viewings are still taking place.

A historic Birmingham pub which has lain empty and derelict for seven years has failed to sell at auction.

The Grade II* Red Lion, in Handsworth, is currently owned by DR Developments and has planning permission to be turned into restaurant.

However, the lot failed to tempt any buyers willing to meet the reserve price at the latest auction held by CPBigwood where it had a guide price of £195,000 and £245,000.

The Post reported earlier this month that the site, in Soho Road, was due to go under the auctioneer’s hammer which caused a flood of responses to the paper and via social media.

Historians were concerned about the state of the interior but DR Developments director Raj Lal defended the pub, saying it had been well looked after and had undergone restoration.

An inspection by Birmingham City Council this month also found that no unauthorised work had taken place – pictures taken by the Post (gallery below) showed this to be true.

Mr Lal said: “I received some pre-auction offers and three people approached my solicitor as soon as the hammer went down about buying the land around the pub as well.

“I don’t know much about restaurants so I’m only interested in selling the pub as I would like to put a three-storey development on the surrounding land.

“People are still viewing the pub and we are still in talks. I put the reserve price quite low in the hope it would fetch between £300,000 and £325,000.

“I have other projects on the go right now so it makes sense to sell the pub to a restaurateur to redevelop it as they wish.”

The Red Lion, which is 4,251 sq ft across three storeys, was designed and built by James and Lister Lea in 1901.

Planning permission was granted in 2012 for the demolition of outbuildings and exterior toilet blocks for the erection of single-storey rear extensions to change its use from a pub to a restaurant.

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