CONTROVERSIAL plans to redevelop a Wem pub into a retail outlet with apartments have been granted by Shropshire Council.

The joint application by Mr G. Lewis, Mrs N. Rutter and Mrs J. Page will redevelop the Old Post Office in High Street and buildings to its rear in Leek Street.

They were given the green light earlier today (Tuesday, April 19) after an initial proposal to develop the site in February 2022 had been refused by the unitary authority.

An objection was made by Wem Civic Society which raised concerns over increased traffic in the area and also warned of the importance of the building.

Secretary Shelagh Richardson said: "The Old Post Office itself, though an early 20th century building, is an important feature on Wem High Street.

"In particular, the façade raises and enhances the appearance of the streetscape.


"It would be good to see this building remaining viable and functional, and retained in its present form.

"An improvement in the appearance of Leek Street is to be welcomed. Currently, it is out of character within a conservation area.

"A major concern is that the outbuildings, garden and garages are very likely to sit on archaeological remains dating from the Medieval and later periods.

"Any development on this site must involve a detailed and in-depth archaeological investigation.

"The Civic Society feels that this application in its present form would still represent an overdevelopment of the site.

"It also has concerns over the implications of the increase in traffic in this area. Leek Street is a mixed pedestrian and vehicle road and is quite narrow."

Wem Town Council also had initially opposed the application but then withdrew them and took a neutral stance after the developers made amendments to the application.

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Shropshire Council planning case officer, Jane Preece said: "The proposal has been subject to consultation and assessed against the relevant planning policies of the adopted development plan.

"Where issues have been raised these have either been resolved with the submission of amended plans or additional information and/or can be adequately addressed through the imposition of appropriate planning conditions of approval.

"Accordingly, it is now considered that the re-submitted scheme as further revised during the consideration of this application, has now satisfactorily addressed the previous reasons for refusal and appeal dismissal decision and as such can be supported with appropriate planning conditions of approval in place."

She concluded: "On balance, officers consider that the proposal, as supported by revised plans and additional information, is now acceptable and capable of being planning policy compliant.

"Approval is therefore recommended."