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Historic Shifnal pub could become a dentists' surgery

An historic Shifnal pub and wine bar could become a dental surgery if plans for its conversion are approved.

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Odfellows Wine Bar in Shifnal

The owner of Odfellows in Market Place has teamed up with representatives of Shifnal Dental Practice to apply to Shropshire Council for a change of use for the building.

It is thought if approved, the practice would use upstairs bedrooms at the pub as surgery space and move from its existing location at Park Street.

Ross Ireland, of the Odley Inns company which owns Odfellows, is one of the applicants for the change of use after owning the pub since 1996.

He is thought to want to retire - his company has already offloaded The Coach and Horses in Shrewsbury to new owners, and manager Dean Morris will leave next month.

The Odfellows itself has been run by manager and chef Matt Jones for 26 years and became a mainstay of Shifnal's social scene.

Seven public comments on the planning application were all in favour of keeping it as a pub and wine bar.

Jake Perks said: "Odfellows occupies a prominent position in the heart of Shifnal and is a popular restaurant and pub.

"At a time when pubs are closing at an alarming rate, every effort needs to be made to retain this venue as licensed premises for current and future generations of Shifnal's residents and visitors."

Alistair Scott said: "This pub has been used as a hostelry for hundreds of years. It's one of the most historically significant buildings in Shifnal. It is also an important part of many people's social lives. To say the current business is unsustainable is wrong, it implies bad management by the current incumbents.

"As well as being used by locals, the pub also attracts people into the town from other areas, so a change of use would be detrimental to other businesses in the town, especially the restaurants.

"Shifnal has grown massively over recent years, and continues to grow - with many more houses being built now and also planned for the future. The town would suffer significantly if this asset was lost."