On Tuesday (21 Aug) Shropshire Council’s Planning Committee met in Wem and amongst items on the agenda was the future of the Squirrel Inn at Wollerton. This weekend’s Market Drayton Advertiser contained a report on page 2 with the headline “Plan to convert disused pub into a home is thrown out”.
The report by Dani Wozencroft continues by stating that the Committee said that they believed the property could thrive as a pub if given the chance. Their confidence overturned a report by the Planning Officer, who recommended that the application be approved. We understand from someone who was at the meeting that the Committee voted unanimously to reject the application.
According to the MD Advertiser, Councillor Martin Bennett said, “Planning policy says proposals resulting in the loss of facilities will be resisted unless it can be proved that the facility is not viable in the long-term, not the past but the future – I don’t think that has been tested.” Karen Calder, Shropshire Councillor for Hodnet, said “Fifteen months is not a substantial time to be up for sale. The Fox and Hounds in Shawbury was empty for 10 years, it is now successful.”
The Advertiser does not report whether the owners, Claire Howell and Sarah Mazloom, intend to appeal against the decision.