Plans to knock down a former garage which served a town for 80 years to make way for a new housing development have been approved.

Road safety concerns from Ellesmere residents and councillors failed to sway Shropshire Council’s northern planning committee, which voted to approve the scheme for Victoria Garage in Scotland Street.

Under the plans put forward by Haigh Developments, the garage will be demolished to create a wider access point to the land behind, where eight houses will be constructed.

A small part of the building, which was originally a chapel, will be retained to create a bin storage area.

Shropshire Council considers the garage a non-designated heritage asset, but planning officers had recommended approval on the basis that the public benefits of the scheme outweighed the loss of the building.


Case officer Mark Perry told the meeting that despite concerns being raised by locals about the road layout and traffic, the council’s highways department had not objected to the proposals.

He said the plans to widen the access road would greatly improve visibility for vehicles turning out onto Scotland Street.

Whitchurch Herald: The land behind the garage was described as scruffy and unkemptThe land behind the garage was described as scruffy and unkempt

A statement from Ellesmere town council was read to the committee, saying the road was already an “accident hotspot”, with lorries forced to drive along the kerb and pedestrians regularly getting clipped by wing mirrors.

It said: “It is unacceptable that highways don’t consider this section of road unsafe, and state that this application is acceptable and are in support of adding additional entrances onto such a dangerous section of road, when they have not resolved existing concerns.”

Councillor Geoff Elner, who represents the town on Shropshire Council, told the committee more houses were not needed in Ellesmere, especially at the cost of a business site which he said the town was crying out for.

Committee chairman Councillor Paul Wynn said: “The proposed entrance is three times bigger, it’s not a fantastic entrance but it’s far, far better than what’s there now.”

Councillor Vince Hunt said it would be good to see the “scruffy and unkempt” land behind the building developed, while Councillor Mike Isherwood added: “It’s low density and on balance I think it’s sustainable and could be of benefit to Ellesmere town centre.”

However the support was not universal. Councillor David Vasmer said: “I think this particular section of road is difficult because it’s so narrow, and I don’t think the widening of the entrance will provide sufficient safety.”

Members voted to grant permission for the development, with seven for and three against.