SHROPSHIRE Council has added its voice to disappointment in Wem that housing will be built on the site of Edinburgh House.

Housing association Connexus  won an appeal with government planning inspectors last month to overturn Shropshire Council's decision to turn down an application for 28 new homes in New Street.

Edinburgh House had been home to a number of different groups, including Wem Town Council, but Connexus – which consists of the former Meres and Mosses Housing Association – had owned the building since 2013.


The company now intended to build a mixture of houses and flats on the site, while maintaining meeting space with the main building.

But Councillor Chris Schofield, cabinet member for planning and regulatory services at Shropshire Council, said it stands by its reasons for rejecting the original application. 

He said: “Shropshire Council as the local planning authority, is disappointed with the outcome, due to our concerns regarding the lack of open space, impact of landscape features, unsuitable living conditions due to noise and loss of a protected employment site.

“The independent inspector concluded that the benefits of delivering 28 affordable housing units in an area of need on a brownfield site in a sustainable location, close to facilities and services, and securing the retention of some office space, weighed in favour of the scheme.”

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The council’s comment comes after a campaign group in the town – Wem Area Climate Action – called the decision to overturn the appeal ‘a disaster’ while Cllr Edward Towers, Shropshire councillor for Wem, also admitted he was disappointed.

Wem Town Council also objected to the original development.

Amanda Knowles, head of development at Connexus, said she was pleased the appeal had been successful and that the plans would result in ‘28 much-needed new affordable homes close to the town centre, helping to regenerate this part of the town’.