PLANS to turn a former solicitor’s office in a building that has lain empty for four years into a dwelling are now with Shropshire Council.

The application to turn the former Hibberts Solicitors office in St Mary’s Street, Whitchurch, into a one-bedroom dwelling was submitted at the start of December.

A planning and access statement for the applicant Rob Birkin, set out the plans for the conversion which will come with repairs to the building.


It said: “The application site is located on the north-eastern side of St Mary’s Street, opposite the Civic Centre, in the town centre of Whitchurch.

“The property is a Grade II-listed building within the Whitchurch Conservation Area.

“It was built in the early to mid-18th century.

“The house consists of two storeys and an attic. It was last used as offices but has been standing empty since the last tenant moved out in 2019.

“The building’s condition has deteriorated since and is in urgent need of repair and maintenance.”

It added: “The house formerly had an Ionic porch and railed enclosures to the front, probably dating from a remodelling in the early 19th century, but that was removed c.1920 when the foot path was widened.

“The interior of the house has also retained some historical features from the early 19th century.

“Some 17th or early 18th century panelling has been re-used in a ground floor cupboard.”

The statement said the applicant ‘seeks to convert the former offices back to a single-family dwelling, as it was originally built’.

It added: “Recognising the listed status of the property and its historic value, the applicant plans to carry out the conversion sensitively and in the least intrusive manner.

“No changes are proposed to the exterior of the building.

“Necessary repairs will be undertaken with care and using materials and finishes to match the existing.

“The original layout of the house will be largely retained, with only one structural change proposed.

“A wall oping will be created between the front and the rear rooms on the lefthand side of the building.

“The two rooms combined will form an attractive kitchen, dining, and entertainment area with an appropriate size for a large house of this kind.

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“An additional lounge will also be accommodated on ground floor, the rear part of the ground floor will be utilised for laundry, heating/utilities, and storage.

“The storage room in the rear wing with an external door will be used for bin and bike storage.”

For more, head to Shropshire Council’s planning portal and search 23/05268/LBC