A UNIQUE piece of Bromsgrove history will be preserved.

The Bromsgrove Society alerted Bromsgrove District Council's planning officers and committee of the existence of a former Civil Defence Centre, housed under the county buildings complex, just in time before approval to demolish was given.

In a planning meeting last month approval was given for the demolition of the old library, fire station and county buildings on the corner of Windsor Street and Stratford Road, to allow for the construction of 67 apartments for people in need of care.

Bromsgrove Society chairman Pat Tansell notified the planning team about the facility which she first became aware of when she started work at the library in 1981.

It is believed that the facility housed a centre for communications and alerts during the Cold War period when there was a national fear of nuclear attacks.

Although little is known about the exact operations which took place there, the Bromsgrove Society was keen that the layout and content of the buildings, an important part of the town's history, should be recorded.

Of the Civil Defence Centre Pat said: "I remember stretchers and other equipment being housed in the basement. People would visit occasionally and test a communications device that was mounted on a wall. When the building closed in 2015, this device along with a map showing the area around Birmingham, was donated by Worcestershire County Council to the National Collection of Telephone Kiosks at Avoncroft Museum.”

Pat added: "It is a pity that the building can't be re-purposed. The Bromsgrove Society had hoped it could be used as a mixed residential and commercial property that might also have housed an attraction such as a children’s soft play area with café facilities.

"The Bromsgrove Society will be sad to see the complex demolished, but we are pleased that the council has said that the Civil Defence Centre must be fully recorded."

The Bromsgrove Society is a joint civic and historic society which promotes interest in the built environment and local history of the town and district.