Concerns voiced over conversion plans for former pub near Telford
Plans to include a community facility in the redevelopment of a former pub near Telford could be in jeopardy after the site’s owner put it on the market, according to the parish council.
The Swan, in Waters Upton, was gutted in a fire nearly five years ago.
Earlier this year planning permission was granted to build five homes and a multi-use hall where it stood, on the A442 Long Lane.
Waters Upton Parish Council clerk Katrina Baker told members the site has now been put up for sale for £400,000, an asking price she said was very unlikely to attract a buyer.
She added that if the site does not get developed within five years, the requirement to include the community facility, currently enshrined in the planning agreement, could be negotiated out.
Wolverhampton-based developer Alireza Zolghadr Mazleghani has been approached for comment.
The Swan closed in 2007. Fire broke out just before 1am on Friday, September 18, 2015, and firefighters from seven stations around Telford and Shropshire were called to the scene. Police later said they suspected arson.
Last year, Mr Mazleghani applied to build two four-bedroom houses and a third building containing three apartments and a community hall.
Parish councillors discussed the planning application at a meeting last year, and supported it, subject to conditions. They said the inclusion of an “asset of community value” was “at the top of the list of priorities identified by the community”.
Ms Baker told the June meeting she wrote to Mr Mazleghani shortly after Telford and Wrekin Council granted planning permission to ask him when the site was going to be cleared.
“When you and I met him right at the early stage he said the first thing he would do would be to secure the site, clean it and make it look more reasonable,” she said.
But, she added, it has now been put on the market.
“There is no way that anybody able to provide for what’s going on there could afford to buy that,” Ms Baker said.
“What we don’t want is for it to remain on the market now until we get to the five years when the community asset is up for renewal, giving him the opportunity to say ‘We need to remove the community asset because nothing has happened, nobody’s interested.’
“There are people in the parish who are very keen for this to happen and there may be other ways that we can bring this forward.
“We need to not exactly start from square one, because we have got a community asset listed there and a planning consent in place, but we do need to start our discussions again.”