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Whitchurch residents have their say on the future of Pauls Moss

By Charlotte Bentley | Whitchurch | Property | Published:

Following a campaign to save an historic house from a medical centre and homes plan, Whitchurch residents have spoken about what they want from the controversial development.

Pauls Moss in Whitchurch which is set to be the site of a medical centre, homes and community room

Campaigners to save Pauls Moss recently launched a bid for a judicial review over the plans for a new medical centre, housing for over 55s and a community room at the site in Whitchurch.

Shropshire Council's northern planning committee have now approved the development, which will retain the historic house, but campaigners are still unhappy and said there will be a lack of open space on the site.

Many Whitchurch residents did not share the same passion to save the building as those in the Save Pauls Moss group, and said the new amenities were too much needed.

Graham Hatton said a new medical centre would be good for the town, which is getting bigger and bigger.

Debra and Graham Hatton in Whitchurch town centre

"I am not really sad to lose the building," he said.

"Life goes on, we now need to think of people's needs. The infrastructure is not there on the building, the sewers are overwhelmed already.

"Everybody needs housing, especially affordable housing. The current medical centre is so busy, parking is a nightmare and it is out of the town."

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John Smedley and Jacqueline Kershaw echoed his views and said the cost of restoration could be too great.

Jacqueline Kershaw and John Smedley in Whitchurch town centre

"I would rather have a brand new surgery and improve the area instead of an old house," John said.

"There is nothing special about it."

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Gerard and Nora Dolan, who moved to the town around 10 years ago, also asked where the money would come from to restore it and said a medical centre was needed as a priority.

Gerard Dolan, from Whitchurch, outside Pauls Moss

Similarly, Emma Kettle, who is a carer, said that older people should be a priority and a medical centre was the most important service needed.

"We have enough medical centres, it would be better used as housing for older people," she said.

"I'm not really bothered about the building."

Emma Kettle, Whitchurch resident

However, some agreed with campaigners and said the house was an important part of the town.

David Wilson, who runs Crossfit Whitchurch, grew up near Pauls Moss and would like to see it saved.

"I would want the house to be saved," he said.

"I used to live at the back so I grew up with it really.

David Wilson from Crossfit Whitchurch

"Prees has a great medical centre and I think we should too. Services here could be improved but I do not think it is the right place to do it."

Similarly, another Whitchurch resident who did not want to be named, said the building should be incorporated into any new plans, without losing its historical charm.

"We definitely need a medical centre and I would like to keep the building. There is no way they cannot incorporate it.

"Paul's Moss is a beautiful building and it should not be torn down. I do not believe anything there could not be kept."

A judge will consider the review and make a decision as to whether it should be taken forward to a full hearing.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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