WHITCHURCH’s mayor has led the town council’s objections to a planning application that could see a former Indian restaurant become a hotel with a rooftop bar.

Last month, an application from owner Sait Bayal to turn the Railway Spice, in Talbot Street, into a 16-room hotel with three further rooms and conference venue facilities was lodged with Shropshire Council.

However, at an extraordinary meeting of Whitchurch Town Council’s planning committee on Friday, November 3, councillors decided to unanimously back a motion from mayor Councillor Andy Hall to object to the development on numerous grounds.


The meeting minutes said: “Following consideration of comments received, together with planning documentation and being mindful of material considerations, it was unanimously resolved to submit an objection to the application on the following grounds.

“Overdevelopment of the site and lack of sufficient evidence of ‘need’ consistent with any Place Plans.

“Design conflicting with the historic nature and presentation of the building and those in the immediate vicinity (unsympathetic design).

“Indicative drawings of proposed structures not reflecting a ‘realistic’ view of the surrounding streetscape and buildings.

“Existing traffic/parking pressures on busy junction/arterial route.

“Inconsistent number of parking spaces with intended occupancy/room numbers and anticipated number customers for the restaurant/bar.

“Lack of clarity with the future of the existing on-site car wash business, replaced with parking spaces in the proposed plans.

“An understanding that abutting terraced properties maintain historic parking rights on the land, which further reduces proposed car park facilities.

“Empirical evidence of commencement of works, presumably without permission, on both the main building and proposed ‘conference’ conversion.”

Consultation on the proposal – 23/04179/FUL – is open to the public until Tuesday, November 14 with a decision expected in the middle of December.

As of Sunday, November 5, one other member of public – Brooke Slater – had also opposed the application.

In her objection, she had highlighted that there was a lack of parking for people using the hotel and added this could have an impact on parents taking their children to the nearby Whitchurch infant and junior schools.

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She also suggested the submitted plans did not reflect the real-world surroundings of the building.

According to the proposal, Mr Bayal intends to increase the number of rooms which he says, in turn, could lead to more jobs for the town.

To comment, head to Shropshire Council’s planning portal.