The building to now part of the Factory Locks Conservation Area, and, as such, should have a degree of protection from development. It is also a grade II listed building so English Heritage will need to be consulted before any changes are made to the appearance of the building. However, although Sandwell’s Unitary Development Plan states, ‘The Council will seek to protect the Borough’s canal heritage, including canal side buildings and associated structures and areas around the canal network that are of special interest’ this rare survivor from the canal’s Victorian heyday is under threat.
The nearby Malthouse Stables are a good example of what can be done to convert a Victorian building, whilst retaining a water based purpose, and we would prefer that the Tipton Boat Gauging Station should return to a canal related use. The Black Country Society is represented on the West Midlands Metropolitan Area Canal Partnership, as is the Dudley Canal Trust, and we would support the latter in the suggestion that the site should be returned to the soon to be established Canal and River Trust who would be best placed, as a charitable body, to raise funds to restore the building.