Four houses on Shropshire pub site refused
A pub hit by arson and vandalism will not be transformed into new homes, it has been decided.
The Swan Public House, in Waters Upton, Telford, was earmarked by developers for demolition so four new homes could be built on the site.
However, Telford & Wrekin planning officers have refused the plans, after the building was named an asset of community value.
It comes after previous plans for five homes to be built were also refused by the council.
Officer Ian Lowe said in a report that the pub was registered as an asset of community value in January last year, and the decision was partly upheld at a tribunal following appeals made by the building's owner.
He added: "The Judge of the tribunal on October 31 2016 allowed the appeal in part, but to the extent that the ground floor could remain on the register, whilst the first floor should be removed, allowing for some form of enabling development.
"It is clear that a pub, or similar community facility, could be created either through the renovation of the existing building or by an appropriate replacement building.
"If the village is to expand through the limited residential development which is envisaged in the emerging local plan, then there will be an increased need for such facilities."
Mr Lowe added that the pub had been closed for "a number of years" with a number of different owners, marketing periods and planning application.
In 2015, more than 30 firefighter were sent to tackle a huge fire overnight at the pub, which has also seen a number of smaller arson attacks.
Mr Lowe said: "Officers are aware that the sale price of the property, which remains for sale ‘under offer’, has not been revised since fires that have caused damage to the property."
The scheme had received mixed reviews from nearby residents.
Waters Upton Parish Council objected to the plans as the site is designated as an Asset of Community Value despite raising views that it did want to see the site tidied up and made safe.
Others raised concerns over drainage and highways issues, while supporters described the old building as an "eyesore" and that it would be more welcoming to have the site turned into housing.
Mr Lowe said: "The proposal would also lead to the loss of the building and land which has been listed as an Asset of Community Value and which has the potential to operate as such within the next five years.
"Although previous reasons for refusal in respect of design and overdevelopment have been overcome, this does not outweigh the negative impact the total loss of this important community facility."
Developers Edis Developments in Shropshire Limited had said the plans would "result in a high quality residential development, which will provide a good living environment for families".
Planning officers made the decision using delegated powers.