New plans for a former pub to be turned into a church conference venue have been lodged after a previous scheme was rejected over parking concerns.

The revised proposals for the Highgate in Whitchurch see ambitions of building a new community hall in the car park dropped in favour of a coffee shop inside the existing building.

International church charity the Free Believers in Jesus Christ recently bought the building and intend to run it as a conference venue.

As with the earlier plans, 11 en-suite bedrooms will be created with the addition of small extensions to the ground and first floors.

The car park would retain 36 spaces, up from the 17 proposed under the community hall plan.


The lack of parking provision, coupled with the number of people expected to attend events at the hall, had raised concern from highways officers.

Public protection officers also said noise from the extraction system “is likely to have a significant adverse impact on the surrounding properties”, and said further information was needed.

Six members of the public also objected to the plans, citing concerns over noise, traffic, crime, and the potential that nearby properties would be de-valued.

Planning officers said the idea of converting the building to keep it in use was welcome, but did not outweigh the parking concerns.

They concluded: “Inadequate information has been submitted to justify the limited number of spaces allocated for the community room which is likely to result in additional on street car parking and potential highway safety issues.

“If the function room was removed from the proposal with the provision of additional car parking for customers and staff then officers are likely to be able to support this scheme.”

The new application will be decided in due course by Shropshire Council.

The Highgate was built in the 1930s, replacing a church that previously stood on the site. It ceased trading as a pub in 1996, when change of use was granted for it to become the new base of local removals business Denmans.