Historic England withdraws objection to Stew plans
Heritage experts are no longer in opposition to plans to convert an historic Shrewsbury building following a meeting with the developer.
Historic England, a group that has previously raised serious concerns about controversial proposals for The Stew, has now said it does not object to the application.
Owner Gareth Leese wants to convert the building in Frankwell into apartments with office and leisure facilities, including a spa and cafe.
Last year an inspector for Historic England said there is still concerns about the scale of the development, and recommended that Shropshire Council seeks amendments.
But following a meeting with Shropshire Council last week, it has withdrawn its objection.
A report from inspector Julie Taylor said: "We understand that the applicant has indicated a desire to pursue the current scheme, regardless of the finding of the review of the development viability appraisal.
"Therefore, given that the building is continuing to deteriorate and that these proposals would result in its repair and bring it back to use, Historic England does not object to the current application."
The former warehouse has been at the centre of a protracted planning battle for a number of years.
Previous suggestions for the building, which dates back to the 18th century, had included a boutique hotel with a swimming pool.
But objections were raised regarding the visual aspect of the design with many saying the proposed futuristic roof was out of keeping in a conservation area and would harm the historical heritage of the building.
Mr Leese scaled back the plans, but just last week the Georgian Group said it is still "unacceptable".
It said while members would welcome an appropriate scheme, the scale of the proposed extension is loo large and as a result would dominate the original structure
Shrewsbury Town Council however has decided to support the latest plans.
It said the fresh plans are a significant improvement and would welcome seeing the building brought back to life.