Council is set to reject new homes planned for behind pub

A plan to build homes next to a pub which has been closed for two years is set to be rejected – even though the applicant says the development could lead to the reopening of the business.

The Acton Arms near Bridgnorth
The Acton Arms near Bridgnorth

The proposal, which has been submitted to Shropshire Council, seeks permission to build three detached homes on land behind the Acton Arms at Moreville near Bridgnorth.

Shropshire Council’s planning committee will consider the plan next week, but officers are recommending the proposal is rejected, saying there are already enough homes in the area – either built or in the process of being developed.

The council was asked to consider an application for the homes on the site in December, and deferred its decision while it investigated whether a formal agreement could be made linking the profits from the housing development, with a requirement to redevelop the pub.

But, officers have now considered the overall plan and are advising councillors to refuse to grant planning permission.

A report from council planning officer Sara Jones states: “Although it is recognised that the proposal would contribute to the social objective by adding to the supply of housing in the village, potentially increasing the likelihood of the public house reopening and there would be some limited economic benefit through the construction process, this development would result in the number of commitments and completions further exceeding the housing guideline.”

Ms Jones’ report explained how the applicants had suggested the development could make the pub a viable business.

Repairs

She said: “The applicant points out that the Acton Arms public house has been closed for nearly two years and is the only pub in the village.

"As part of this proposal it is intended to use funds from the sale of the land to the rear of the pub to finance the repairs and work necessary to re-open.

“This scheme will involve the creation of three letting rooms to enable the tenants of the pub to have an additional source of income which will help ensure long term viability of the business.”

Ms Jones’ report says that granting permission would undermine the development strategy for the area.

Back in 2017 permission was granted for four detached houses and two semi-detached houses on the site. At the time local residents had tried unsuccessfully to get the pub listed as an ‘asset of community value’, which would grant it protection from development.

Responding to the latest application, Morville Parish Council raised concerns.

It said: “Whilst they wish to see the Acton Arms restored as a thriving village public-house they are concerned that it depends on a small housing development at the rear in order to finance it. They also note that are no semi-detached or affordable homes included in the plan.”

Shropshire’s South Planning Committee will consider the proposal on April 13

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