PLANS to build a new health centre in Whitchurch now look set to go ahead after a legal challenge against the proposals was rejected.

Pauls Moss, located in the town centre, is the planned site of a new health centre with an associated residential development for elderly people, but a campaign was launched after initial plans showed the demolition of the historic Pauls Moss house.

The campaigners were successful in saving the house, and it was subsequently incorporated into updated plans from Wrekin Housing Trust and Shropshire Council.

But despite this initial victory, protestors remained unhappy with the plans, and in early 2020 launched a judicial review against Shropshire Council’s planning department’s decision to support the scheme.

This review cited a perceived lack of open space in the plans, which campaigners believed rendered them unlawful.

The hearing was held in October 2020, and it was revealed on Tuesday, January 12, that Shropshire Council had won, with the High Court judge deciding that planning permission was granted lawfully.

The news has been met with tempered optimism from former Pauls Moss resident Jean Hall, who said she was happy to see a victory for the council but was disappointed with the time taken to reach the decision.

“I’m just very very grieved and sorry, this building should have been finished in March of this year and the residents would have been contemplating moving in,” said Jean. “They’ve wasted time and we were really looking forward to it.

“The sad thing is that building would have been ideal for this mass vaccination project going on at the moment.

“I’m really looking forward to it being built though, I just hope that no one even dares of protesting it.

“It’s passed but it’s a disgrace that it’s taken so long, at least we’ve got something to look forward to, something positive.

“I don’t know how long it will take to build, we just to have to look forward to it to get us through this grey time – just a shame we can’t move in in six weeks’ time.

“I just hope nobody starts thinking now we can do something to start hindering it, I don’t see how they can spend all that money having the plans drawn up if they were illegal.

“I’m just really really grateful we can make a start and look forward to hearing a construction date.”

Mayor of Whitchurch, Councillor Bev Duffy said she was happy with the outcome of the review.

‘This is good news for the people of Whitchurch,” she said. “It will provide the health centre the town desperately needs with the much needed supported living for the elderly.

“This ruling has come at a good time for Whitchurch with the imminent closure of the Dodington surgery later this year, which will leave only one GP practice in the town.”

Meanwhile Peggy Mullock, chairman of the Whitchurch Patients Group welcomed the outcome, adding: “I’m delighted to hear the news and hope we can now move on with the building.”