Seventy apartments, a health centre and a community room will be built around a historic mansion after planners gave the green light.

The development in Whitchurch will see the historic Pauls Moss mansion retained – although concerns remain over changes to the interior of the building.

Two petitions signed by a total of more than 1,700 people were handed in to the council the day before Tuesday’s meeting, while 25 letters of objection were also handed in.

But Shropshire Council’s Northern Planning Committee voted to approve the plans, causing some calls of disappointment from the public gallery.

The plans were submitted by the Wrekin Housing Trust, which had previous plans for the site – which included demolishing the historic mansion – turned down in June. 

But now these fresh plans, which did not include the demolition, went before the committee, with the plans approved – although there was some concern over car parking.

Councillor Nick Bardsley said: “I will need a lot of reassurance on the car parking situation.

“It seems quite extraordinary to me that we would just accept that there is not enough parking.

“We are all aware of the problems it can cause when something is designed without adequate parking. As the town expands it can only get worse.”

Councillor Vince Hunt added: “It strikes me that whenever there is something built in urban areas that parking is a problem.

“Of course we would love to have more parking, wider spaces and double the amount we need, but that’s not the reality in urban areas.

“It’s my belief that it’s never going to be ideal but we have obtained the best we can and the best of both worlds. This will provide extra medical provision for the town while also retaining Pauls Moss House.”

Councillors were given a paper before the meeting saying: “Twenty five further letters of objections have been received. 

“Issues raised mainly focus on concerns with regards to loss of internal fittings within Pauls Moss House, the scale and mass of the proposed development and detrimental impacts on amenity and privacy of the dwellings located at Pauls Moss Court, to which residents of which will lose access to open space. 

“Concerns have also been raised with regards to the methodology used by the applicants in relation to the impact assessments on Pauls Moss Court housing. 

“Also concerns in relation to traffic and vehicle movements in relation to Pauls Moss Court and the area known as Dodington. 

“Also received are two petitions one signed by 1,651 persons objecting to the proposal and the other by 90 persons.”

The plans are for redevelopment to include the conversion of the house to form a cafe/community hub and flats; the erection of 71 sheltered residential apartments; a health centre building; removal of trees; and 80 car parking spaces.

Philip Mullineux, principal planning officer for the council, told the meeting: “The application proposes re-development of Pauls Moss, with retention of Pauls Moss House, demolition of existing sheltered housing accommodation and general needs flats and proposed new build Extra Care apartment scheme, health centre and conversion of Pauls Moss House to flats and a community hub. 

“This revised application does not include provision for an on-site pharmacy and as a result there are two less car parking spaces proposed.

“Clearly Paul’s Moss house is considered a significant non-designated heritage asset and its retention on site is to be preferred. 

“Taking into consideration the significant material considerations as discussed in this report, the merits of the proposal are considered acceptable.”