Campaign against Dudley Hippodrome demolition rumbles on

Campaign against Dudley Hippodrome demolition rumbles on

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A CAMPAIGN group against the demolition of the historical Dudley Hippodrome, has taken their objections to the Housing Secretary.

Dudley Hippodrome Development Trust has battled against Dudley Council’s plans to destroy the hippodrome for years, instead wanting to see the revival of the once thriving theatre.

Now, the group has requested for Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to take over the planning application rather than letting Dudley Council decide.

This has been backed by the public body for theatres, Theatres Trust, who feel Dudley Council has not explored options for retention of the hippodrome.

A spokesperson for Theatres Trust said: “Theatres Trust does not feel that sufficient consideration has been given to exploring options for retention and positive re-use of the building and there is a possible conflict of interest with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council determining its own application.

“Furthermore, there are sustainability implications of demolition and reconstruction which are not consistent with the council’s declaration of a climate emergency.”

Dudley Hippodrome Development Trust has said they are remaining optimistic that the appeal to ‘the Secretary of State will come in time.’

A spokesperson for the trust said: “Arts Council England recently announced that Dudley was on its priority list for funding meaning that, if approved, money would be available to help kick start the reopening of the theatre building.

“Theatres Trust had also identified compatible national theatre operators who would be willing to proactively engage with the Council to facilitate a refurbishment.

“The land upon which Dudley Hippodrome is built was a gift to the people from the Earl of Dudley and the Kennedy’s who owned the Opera House and the subsequent theatre building, placed a restrictive covenant upon it stipulating that the land be used solely for a playhouse, theatre, retail or housing.”

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