Knights' Planning team recently won a planning appeal for the change of use of the Longville Arms public house in Shropshire, our client is now able to convert the building into a sizeable residential property.

Following an initial refusal of planning permission, the client instructed Knights to resubmit a planning application setting out a more robust case in favour of the proposal. Our case demonstrated that the property had been adequately marketed but failed to sell.

We also highlighted the substantial efforts that our client had made to run the public house as an ongoing concern and referred to relevant case law where similar schemes had been permitted in the past.

Originally considered an asset of community value, the public house was the only community facility within the village and was utilised as the meeting point for clubs and the parish council. Because of this, the council refused to grant the change of use.

However, the local community had failed to register their intention to bid during the moratorium period and at appeal the Planning Inspector noted the various initiatives that the owner had used during their tenure to try to run the public house viably, including operating it as a destination pub.

They also noted the presence of other nearby public houses which were closed and on the market and agreed with our case that the pub could no longer run as a viable enterprise.

In October 2020, permission was granted. Our client can now proceed to redevelop this property.