Listed status bid for The Stew in Shrewsbury fails

Shrewsbury Civic Society has failed to get one of the town’s most controversial buildings listed to protect it from future development.

The Stew in Frankwell
The Stew in Frankwell

The group had applied to Historic England to get The Stew in Frankwell listed status but their application has been unsuccessful.

Now the society is considering lodging an objection to the decision.

The building has been subject to numerous planning applications and a planning inquiry.

The owner of The Stew, Gareth Leese, had applied to demolish the derelict building and replace it with a boutique hotel and spa.

But the application was thrown out by Shropshire Council and a planning inquiry in 2015 heard that the importance of the building, which was involved in river trade in the 18th century, could not be overstated.

Martina Chamberlain, of the planning committee of the society, said: “The Frankwell mansion house with warehouse has been considered for listing on a number of previous occasions, initiated by the civic society.

“This time, we put forward that additional knowledge, gained during the appeal process, had further strengthened the case of the building’s historic and special interest.

“We believe the Stew merits the protection afforded by listing as do many others with expertise in the field.

“The listing adviser, Gill Gutherie, who travelled from Cornwall to view the building, acknowledges in her report that the Stew ‘is a particularly interesting survival of an early 18th century town house’.

“It is one of the few surviving buildings which reflect both the residential and industrial development of Frankwell in the 18th and 19th century.”

Ms Gutherie said that the historical association of the river trade was ‘interesting’ but it did not add to the case for the building.

Ms Chamberlain added that the society will now be pressing the town and county council for a redesign of Frankwell Quay ‘to create a better river frontage and improved setting for The Stew and maltings which they deserve’.

She said Shrewsbury’s river trade history was important and regional history was ‘part of our national history’.

Mr Leese was not available for comment.

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