Shropshire Star

Memorabilia from 76-year history of Shropshire haulage company a part of approved plans

Plans to convert a warehouse building near Whitchurch into a museum and cafe dedicated to a former local businessman have been approved.

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Grocott Developments Limited had applied for retrospective permission to convert part of its Brookdale site near Prees, having started work in October last year.

The firm says a collection of memorabilia from the 76-year history of Shropshire haulage company Grocontinental has been collated and displayed at Brookdale in a former warehouse, which is now set to be referred to as the Grocott Heritage Centre.

The collection includes a number of important vehicles, photographs and documents which track the history of the firm, formerly owned by Whitchurch businessman and philanthropist Ray Grocott, who died last year aged 89.

“The applicants’ late father, Mr Ray Grocott, was instrumental in the growth and success of the family business and several books have been written to recounting the history of the business and in turn the local community,” said the applicants via a planning statement.

“The existing warehouse building at Brookdale, previously used for B2 and B8 uses had become increasingly underutilised following the development of the offices at Brookdale.

“Situating the heritage centre at Brookdale is considered a logical use for this site due its historic link to the business, being adjacent to applicants' offices and the settlement of Prees. ”

Part of the warehouse has also been converted to a cafe, which the firm says will be used as a main entrance to access the heritage collection.

Approving the scheme, Shropshire Council planners said the conversion of the former warehouse was acceptable despite being in open countryside, as a principle of use for the site had already been established.

Meanwhile the council’s highways team added that a reduction of commercial traffic to the former logistics base would have benefits for local road users.

“Car borne movements are more easily catered for along the adjoining highway network,” they said.

“Whilst visibility at the site access does not fully meet desired standards, there is a balance between the existing permitted commercial use of the building and the heritage centre.

“The proposed use as a heritage centre and ancillary café is [also] less likely to result in potential noise and disturbance to neighbouring properties.”

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