Shropshire Star

Cottages plan for land once owned by Shropshire's historic Darby family

Plans have been submitted to build two cottages on a piece of land once owned by the Darby family and near a Shropshire tourism destination.

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The site is off High Street in Coalport. Photo: Google.

A planning application has been submitted to build two new four-bedroom homes at the site off High Street in Coalport, Ironbridge.

The now disused overspill car park at Coalport China Museum was once owned by Francis Darby, son of Abraham Darby.

A Heritage Impact Survey said that the site is of some historical interest due to its historical relationship with the former China Works.

Records which date back to 1847 state the land was occupied by John Rose and Company, which was how the Coalport China Factory was known at the time.

At the time the car park had a structure which was described as a “croft or yard”.

A map of the site from 1847 shows there was a small structure on the site but there is no building remains left today.

“There is therefore the potential for archaeological remains relating to this,” said the heritage impact survey.

“There is a chance for the site to retain some previous undiscovered archaeological significance.

“The historical significance is chiefly derived from its historical association with the world-renowned Darby family and the nearby Chinaworks. This historical significance is intangible and there is no physical remains to suggest the historical relationship.”

The heritage impact survey added that while the site is located in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site and Severn Gorge Conservation Area, it is not included within the redline boundary of any listed buildings.

“It has been concluded that the proposal will not give rise to harm to either the World Heritage Site or the setting of the nearby heritage asset,” the heritage impact statement concluded.

A design, access and planning statement submitted by Shropshire Homes says that the cottages would be hidden from High Street in a wooded area and would ‘fit closely with existing traditional cottages in Coalport’.

“It is more readily seen, although again through trees, from the Silkin Way,” said the planning statement.

“The site will be visible to walkers on the Silkin Way, but the built solution is preferable to the sterile car park that exists at present.

The site of the proposed houses sits within Telford and Wrekin’s Green Network. However, the applicant says that it ‘does not appear to serve any function’ set out within the network’s aims.

“The development of the site would have no bearing on Telford’s attractiveness as a place to work or live and provides no function in separating built up areas,” the application statement added.

“The proposal will help to preserve and enhance the character of the Severn Gorge Conservation Area by ensuring there is a continuation of residential suburban character along Coalport High Street.”

The overspill car park is currently unused and there are security concerns at the site after a ‘number of cars’ were previously broken into.

A decision on the plans will be taken at a later date.