Cllr Eric Drinkwater and Cllr Sue Woodward outside the former Royal Oak pub

Councillors have called for action to tackle an “eyesore” former pub in Burntwood.

The Royal Oak at Sankey’s Corner has been boarded up for a number of years.

But two Labour councillors, Eric Drinkwater and Sue Woodward, say urgent action is needed to bring the building back to use, warning that the site is holding back neighbouring businesses and attempts to improve the area.

Cllr Eric Drinkwater and Cllr Sue Woodward outside the former Royal Oak pub

Cllr Drinkwater said: “This site has been an eyesore for many years and the owners really couldn’t care less about the way it is blighting our neighbourhood.

“As long as the landlords keep getting the rent from the brewery and from all their other tenants, they just ignore all attempts to get something moving.

“We’ve pressed Lichfield District Council time and again to act but nothing has happened.”

Cllr Woodward said the uncertainty over the building’s future had impacted on local projects

“A couple of years ago, we’d set up a community initiative to make the place look a bit more attractive with murals by local schoolchildren,” she said.

“Just as we were about to start, a planning application was submitted so we had to pull the plug on it. Yet the application went nowhere and, month by month, the premises look worse and worse.

“It’s a real blight on the centre of the town.”

The Labour duo believe Lichfield District Council needs to back up words with action – and ensure the regeneration of Burntwood is given the same attention as the Friarsgate redevelopment in Lichfield.

Cllr Woodward said: “We’ve had lots of warm words from Lichfield District Council about the need to improve the shopping areas in Burntwood particularly this one.

“At last, we are seeing a new retail area being built through private developers but this doesn’t let them off the hook.

“We need to see the council putting money into this town as well as the city.”

The local authority is currently debating whether or not to foot the £49million bill for Friarsgate.

But Cllr Drinkwater believes residents in Burntwood should not be short-changed.

“It’s a question of fairness,” he said. “If Lichfield District Council is willing to put money – our money – into Friarsgate, they should do the same here.”


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

7 replies on “Councillors demand action over “eyesore” former pub in Burntwood”

  1. If there’s a private arrangement between the landlord and the brewery what exactly is the council supposed to do?

  2. It’s a blot on the landscape the landlord should be taken to task &what a surprise that Lichfield will have money spent needlessly on more shops & restaurants
    While Burntwood degenerates further into decay!
    What’s happening with the other eyesore which used to be the home next to the star pub?

  3. Not only the oak pub what about the old kwick safe that’s a mess to if that was in Lichfield it would be like a palace now

  4. You say that pamela but have you seen the Kwik Save in Lichfield? It’s also a decayed eyesore, right in the centre of town.

  5. loc should spend money on streets an roads by taking away humps roads should be flat an smooth for drivers to drive as one gets older they are painfully on ones back to drive over the pot holes do not help resurface properly all roads old age pensioner

  6. Businesses are great at meeting politicians of all parties. They say all the buzzwords, they talk about community, growth, jobs and local environment.

    They actually do everything at the lowest level they have to. They will not make something look nice, if they do not have to. If the council try and force them, they have deep pockets and can fight them in the courts. They know the council can’t afford this.

    I applaud Sue and Eric, they are very active in the local community.

    Businesses will not do anything unless there is a financial benefit to them, or they are forced to legally.

    As for Lichfield Council, they have had years to try and make the city centre better. There are so many charity shops and empty spaces. Now they want to build more, when they are unable to fill the current city centre. Kwik Save is an awful blight in the city and nothing has been done to this for years.

  7. I looked into getting this property to make it back into a pub put after looking inside and finding part of the roof missing and rain has got in plus squatters and the cellar lifts don’t work and you need a new cellar which is upstairs plus new window’s and bar downstairs you are looking at around £130k to get back to what it was and that before your rent and buying your beer.

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