Plans to turn a 19th century chapel with its own graveyard into a house have been withdrawn.

The proposals for Coton Methodist Church, near Whitchurch, were lodged last month but sparked concern from Shropshire Council conservation officers, who said the changes would impact the historic significance of the building.

Under the plans, the 1888 chapel was set to be extended and reconfigured into a two-bed house.

It is not yet known whether a revised application will be submitted.

A statement from MossCo LLP, agent to the applicants, said the chapel, which is considered a non-designated heritage asset, would be sensitively restored.

But conservation officers said the planned extension, despite being scaled-back, was still too big.

They said: “The reduction made is welcomed, however, we do not consider that it is sufficient when viewed in the context of [planning policies].

“We do consider that with further amendment of the internal layout and a reduction in the width, length and height of the proposed extension could make the application more acceptable.


“The current proposal involves the loss of the rear church window and this should be avoided by amending how the proposed extension attaches to the church.”

The planning statement had said original features including the stained-glass windows, iron railings, arch doorway and wall panelling would be retained, and the pulpit would be turned into a kitchen island or part of a staircase.

Pews, benches, floorboards and coat hooks were also set to be re-used, while a marble plaque commemorating members of the congregation who died during the First World War was to be relocated within the building.

Plans showed the proposed one-and-a-half storey extension was to be added to the rear of the building, replacing a 20th Century lean-to.

The new area would have contained a gallery level with two bedrooms, while the full double-height space was to be retained in the original part of the chapel.

The chapel was put up for sale last year for just £35,000, and was bought by a Mr and Mrs Dennis of Cross Houses.

As a condition of the purchase, the graveyard must remain untouched and was going to be separated from the residential garden by a new fence.

The building’s owners are responsible for the upkeep of the graveyard under a 999-year lease, but people visiting the graves retain a right of access.