Residential home plan for B&B set to go ahead

Controversial plans for a guest house to be converted into a residential home for adults with learning disabilities look set to be approved.

Shirehall, Shrewsbury
Shirehall, Shrewsbury

The proposals for Everglades B&B in Oswestry have received objections from the town council and 50 members of the public, however 60 people sent letters of support.

Shropshire Council planning officers now say the conversion should be given the green light when the authority’s northern planning committee meets next week.

No external changes are proposed, with the inside of the house set to be reconfigured to provide self-contained units for eight residents, each with en-suite and kitchenette facilities.

Communal areas, offices and staff accommodation will also be provided, while four additional parking spaces will be added outside, taking the total number of spaces to 11.

A report by a planning officer says the proposed change of use is an appropriate use of the building.

The report says: “The existing dwelling sits in an uncharacteristically large plot, measuring some 0.6 acres with the dwelling occupying a modest footprint in comparison. The site is well enclosed by existing vegetation.

“The substantial plot is part of its appeal, the peace and lack of activity is likely to be a valuable attribute for providing accommodation for vulnerable people.”

Objectors voiced concerns that the increased traffic from staff and visitors’ vehicles would cause road safety issues on the narrow Brynhafod Lane, particularly as residents would use the lane – which has no pavements – to access the town centre on foot.

However the committee report says highways officers have not objected and refusal on highways grounds would be “difficult to defend”.

It says: “It is recognised that Brynhafod Lane is narrow and for much of its length it does not allow two vehicles to pass one another, ultimately meaning that vehicles may, on occasions, have to wait for the opposing vehicle to pass.

“This is a situation that already exists for current users of the lane. However, taking into account the limited number of dwellings that the lane serves the frequency of vehicles meeting is likely to be low.

“As such any vehicles having to wait or on occasions reverse to a wider section of road would be infrequent and in officers’ opinion, not to the extent where it would detrimentally impact upon the free flow of traffic.

“It is considered that the small likely increase of vehicle movements would not be likely to have an impact on the local highway network.”

The report concludes: “The proposal would help meet National and local planning policies by supporting the delivery of specialist supported housing.

“Taking into account the scale of the building the subject of the application, the size of its curtilage and its context it is considered to be an appropriate site for the purpose proposed.

“The small scale of the enterprise would not give rise to a level of activity or vehicle movements whereby there would be a detrimental impact upon the amenities of surrounding occupiers.”

The application will be decided by the northern planning committee at a meeting next Tuesday, October 26.

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