Decision details

TWC/2022/0340 - The Cleveland Arms, Cotwall Road, High Ercall, Telford, Shropshire, TF6 6AE

Decision Maker: Planning Committee

Decision status: Refused

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The application was for the conversion of a public house into one dwelling. It had been referred to the Committee because of the number and nature of representations that had been received. It was recommended that the Committee refuse the application.


Councillor Kevin Connor, Parish Councillor, spoke against the application. The application was the latest in a series to change the use of the Cleveland Arms. There existed a strong public demand to reopen the public house and there was disappointment that offers to buy and view the property had failed. The applicant had acted obstructively but potential buyers remained interested.


Councillor Stephen Bentley, Ward Councillor, made a representation against the application stating full support for the officer’s recommendation. Councillor Bentley paid tribute to planning officer Karen Denmark, who had recently passed away. 


The Planning Officer discussed the application. The property was Use Class Sui Generis and had ceased trading as a public house in 2016. The adjacent car park and bowling green were not part of the use-change application. The property itself was in a state of disrepair with the proposed development consisting of a change of use from Sui Generis to C3 dwelling house. Section 7 of the Local Plan listed public houses as community facilities and changing use could not be supported unless an alternative facility was available. The applicant argued that the Village Hall, which operated a bar one day a week, was an equivalent facility. Officers, however, disagreed; the hall lacked the facilities of a public house. There had also been a failure to demonstrate a lack of need for the facility. Marketing documents for the property had been assessed and it was considered that the applicant had acted in poor faith and that offers made had been viable.


Members spoke of the need for the amenity in the rural setting of the locality, speaking of it as a community asset.


Upon being put to a vote, it was unanimously:


RESOLVED - that delegated authority be granted to the Development Management Service Delivery Manager to refuse planning permission for the following reasons:


1)         The application has failed to demonstrate a lack of need for the community facility, failed to evidence a robust marketing campaign and failed to identify an equivalent or alternative community facility that provides a similar offer which meets the needs of residents. The proposed development would result in the unacceptable loss of a community facility and is contrary to Local Policies SP4, COM1 and EC7 of the Telford & Wrekin Local Plan 2011-2031 and provisions found under National Planning Policy Framework.

Publication date: 22/09/2022

Date of decision: 31/08/2022

Decided at meeting: 31/08/2022 - Planning Committee

Accompanying Documents: