The United Reformed Church in Whitchurch can now be converted into flats after plans were approved by the council.

The Grade II-listed church in Dodington is set to be converted into eight new apartments after receiving planning permission from Shropshire Council.

There has been a church at the site for more than 200 years after the United Reformed Church split from the Presbyterian congregation, who had premises on the other side of Dodington, in 1797.

The following year they converted a leather maker's small currier shop to serve as their chapel.

This was enlarged and fitted out as a chapel in 1813 and the vestry was enlarged in 1815 with a schoolroom added on the first floor.

The building is also famous for its links with the composer Edward German as his father, John David Jones, was the organist and choirmaster of the church for more than 30 years.

The plans submitted by RPS Designs on behalf of their client Matthew Caplan, will see the creation of four, two-bedroom flats and four one-bedroom flats at the site.


The plans would see a “new mezzanine floor to be provided above existing gallery level within the church” and “existing pews to be removed and re-purposed on site as either in-apartment furniture or as illustrative pews on the new ‘gallery’ within the communal area”.

The plans would see much of the exterior remining “unchanged and where required, only be repaired through conservation techniques".

The planning officer who reviewed the application said: “The conversion of the listed building would not require significant rebuilding and would be acceptable in principle.

“It is acknowledged that the building has been vacant for many years and although there have been uses previously supported and alterations associated to the reuse of the building, none of them appear to have been able to ensure the long-term use of the building, which ultimately will ensure the building is maintained and retained for future generations.

“The less than substantial harm that would occur to the heritage assets would be outweighed by the public benefits, with the primary benefit being the sensitive, adaptive reuse of the redundant barns to secure their long-term future.

“The development would furthermore cause no undue harm to the character of the wider area and would not adversely affect the amenities of neighbouring occupiers, highway safety, protected species.

“As such the application is recommended for approval.”