Historic house to be converted to apartments
A Georgian country house is set to be converted into flats in an attempt to stop the building falling into disrepair.
The plans for Ashford Court in Ashford Carbonell have been approved by Shropshire Council after the current owner said she could no longer maintain the house.
Council planners agreed there was little chance of the Grade II listed house being sold in its current form and agreed to approve plans to convert the main house, stable block and other outbuildings into 17 apartments.
A report by planning officer Mike Davies said: “The present elderly single owner/occupier of Ashford Court is unable to maintain its current condition for the foreseeable future which has led to this application being made.
“The house is no longer required by either the owner or her family.
“Initial market appraisals from several sales agents have unanimously declared that the demand for large country houses of this type (and in this area) is virtually non-existent regardless of condition.
“Any investment made towards modernizing the property as a single domestic dwelling would likely be unrecoverable and the likelihood of a suitable purchaser being found remains unlikely also – leaving the house at risk of falling into disrepair.”
The house, overlooking the River Teme, was was built in the 1780s by Samuel Yate Sprott with an extension added after it was bought by Magdalene Naylor in 1924.
Under the approved plans the apartments will be sold on a long lease, with a service charge to pay for the upkeep of the building and grounds.
Mr Davies’ report concluded said: “The detailed proposals submitted are considered to be sympathetic in terms of their impact on the special architectural and historic interest of the subject buildings.
“Careful consideration has been given to the sub-division of buildings to minimise the impact on the historic fabric and to ensure that the buildings can still be read and understood in terms of their original layout.
“It is therefore considered that the proposals will not result in any material harm to the heritage asset.
“At present the buildings are only partially occupied and are suffering from a lack of maintenance.
“The proposal offers a real opportunity to reverse this cycle of decline, by bringing these historic structures back into full use whilst at the same time providing 17 new dwellings.
“The proposal will therefore secure the future of Ashford Court by providing it with a long term sustainable future use.”