Plan to give new lease of life to south Shropshire shop

A community land trust in Shropshire is campaigning to save a former Stars news shop that has been disused since 2015, to turn it into affordable accommodation.

The newsagents in Church Street, Bishops Castle
The newsagents in Church Street, Bishops Castle

The Bishop’s Castle and District Community Land Trust has made a formal request to Shropshire Council to enact a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on 68-70 Church Street, the former Stars Newsagent.

The trust claims the location of the shop, in the conservation area of the town, means it should be preserved and they have plans to convert it into an internet hub for young people, as well as building affordable accommodation.

Having been empty since 2015, the building has been broken into with copper piping ripped out, and the trust hopes a CPO will prevent any further damage.

Jonathan Brown, trust secretary, said the request is fully supported by both the Bishop’s Castle Town Council and the Bishops Castle Civic Society.

He said: “We can provide two flats – one on top of the shop and one to the side.”

The trust has previously built two houses in Bishop’s Castle behind the King’s Head pub and let them as affordable housing.

They now want to bring more opportunities to young people in the town, as well as affordable accommodation, and hope to work with Shropshire Youth Support Trust, based in Telford.

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