A plan to convert a derelict country mansion near Whitchurch into a care home has been rejected – after council planners said the renovations would “adversely impact” the decaying historic building.

The scheme would have seen the Grade II listed Hinton Hall near Whitchurch converted into a 43-bedroom nursing home with a 38-room dementia care unit constructed in the grounds of a former walled garden.

Applicant Springcare Ltd says around 100 jobs would have been created by the conversion, with around 33 staff on site at any one time.

But Shropshire Council’s conservation officers said the proposal was “not consistent” with the restoration of the building and that the proposed alterations went beyond the building’s “optimal viable use”.

They also said the condition of the 19th century mansion, which is described as “poor” having been vacant for a number of years, should not be a factor in weighing up the benefits of the scheme.


“Having reviewed submitted information, concerns are raised with the overall proposed development,” they said.

“[It is] acknowledged buildings are in need of repair and viable use required,  however the proposal is not considered to be consistent with their conservation and is considered beyond its optimal viable use.

“[The] current owners have been in possession of the building for 7-8 years. During that time [it] appears no maintenance has taken place to stymie decay and damage to buildings,” they added.

Meanwhile, ancient monuments charity Historic Buildings and Places(HB&P), a statutory consultee on listed building consent applications in England and Wales, said they had “concerns” with the scheme, and recommended that it was resubmitted with more detailed conservation plans.

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“History and photos provided in Heritage Statement indicate Hinton Hall has been vacant for considerable period of time and that very little modernisation has taken place. As result, Hall is remarkable ‘time capsule’ and rare example of relatively unaltered country house, despite vandalism and decay,” they said.

“While HB&P support the principle of introducing new and viable use to secure future of hall and outbuildings, that new use must be sensitive to range of original features and fittings that contribute to overall architectural and historic interest of Hall.

“HB&P is concerned documentation and plans submitted do not provide adequate detail or fully outline works proposed, particularly internal alterations, to this grade II listed heritage asset.”

Rejecting the scheme, council planning officers agreed with the verdict of their conservation team, describing the proposal as “unacceptable” with the harm to the historic hall not considered to be outweighed by the public benefits of the proposed development.

“It is considered by the Local Planning Authority that the proposed development will adversely impact upon the historic fabric, special architectural and historic interest, character and appearance of the listed building and its outbuildings and walled garden and cumulatively cause less than substantial harm to the significance of the designated heritage assets,” they said.