Shropshire Star

Plans to convert disused restaurant into flats refused amid fears of 'overdevelopment'

Plans to turn a former restaurant into flats have been rejected.

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The Balti Spice in Pontesbury. Photo: Google

The proposals for Balti Spice in Pontesbury would have seen the ground floor of the now vacant building converted into three apartments, with the existing first floor flat also retained.

The Bangladeshi restaurant closed last year and Shrewsbury-based Shuker Building and Development applied last month to reconfigure the building, putting forward designs for two two-bed flats and one one-bed.

However, Shropshire Council has now refused the plans, saying the size of the two-bed flats was below national space standards and the parking arrangements could pose a hazard.

The decision notice says: “The proposal will constitute overdevelopment and will result to an unsatisfactory residential environment for future occupants.”

Turning to the parking, the second reason for refusal states: “There is insufficient turning space and parking within the curtilage of the site to enable a vehicle to enter and leave the site in a forward gear.

“As a consequence, the proposed development and use of the proposed access would result in the reversing of vehicles onto or off the highway to the detriment of the free flow and safe movement of traffic using the county road, and would be likely to result in the parking of vehicles to the detriment of those using the adjacent highway."

Pontesbury Parish Council objected to the scheme, along with Councillor Nick Hignett who represents the Rea Valley ward on Shropshire Council.

The parish council said: “It is situated at the most dangerous junction in Pontesbury and the parish council therefore find it very difficult to support any application that does not allow any vehicle to exit in forward gear.”

Councillor Hignett shared these concerns, saying: “I am concerned about parking for potential residents. The adjoining land is only suitable for three vehicles, as indicated on the proposed plan, meaning that vehicles would need to reverse out onto the road – close to a busy junction on the A488.”

Councillor Hignett also said the access bridge was known to flood.

There was however one letter of support from neighbour Simon Flack.

He said: “Overall the change of use to residential dwellings is a positive change for the village both aesthetically and socially."