AN APPEAL has been lodged to convert a historic pub in Bishop’s Castle into houses after plans were rejected by the council.

The landlord of the Boar’s Head, Darren Price, had originally tried to sell the premises but was unsuccessful.

Plans were then submitted to Shropshire County Council to convert the pub on Church Street into two houses. The plans also included turning the detached accommodation, known as Curly Tail, into another house, and for two semi-detached cottages to be built in the car park.

Despite the planning officer recommending approval, the committee voted to reject the plans in February, saying that the loss of the pub would be a blow to the local economy, that there wasn’t enough evidence to suggest it couldn’t operate as a viable business and that the housing plans would be an “over-development” to the listed building.

Last week Bishop’s Castle Town Council objected to the plans again as it felt its original comments still stood: the dwelling impacts two close neighbours; it would be a loss of community asset; local knowledge of already inferior drainage which would be further impacted upon; and it would result in a loss of accommodation for tourists.

When the initial plans were put in, a petition was set up to save the Boar’s Head, gaining 569 signatures.

It read: “The Boars Head is a historic pub in the town which was first licensed in 1642. The pub has great history in the town being one of the busiest pubs around.

“It would be a very big shame if these plans were to go ahead so please sign this petition to let the local council know what this pub means to everyone.”

Mr Price bought the Roar’s Head in 2008 and ran the business with his partner. In addition to the pub, restaurant and bed and breakfast, they also ran the local post office and a hair salon from the premises. This made the business “viable”, according to a statement submitted as part of the appeal.

However, the post office was then moved into the Spar Shop. Planning permission was then granted in 2017 to turn the former post office into a bed and breakfast, but this never went ahead “due to poor take up” meaning that the investment could not be justified.

“The adverse trading conditions were compounded when in 2016 when Mr Price was wrongly identified by West Mercia Police as being a paedophile, but despite apologies issued by the police the stigma has remained and local trade has dropped significantly,” the statement said.