Express & Star

Couple go to Government after plan to turn 'unviable' pub on 'danger' road into flats is rejected

The owners of a Shropshire pub are appealing a decision by the county council to reject their plans to build apartments at their historic inn, as they claim the authority does not want to address the “dangerous road” outside the venue.

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Gary Goodlad outside the Swann Inn

The Swan Inn on The Severn, off the B4555 Highley Road, near Bridgnorth, was the subject of a change of use application last month after owners Kay Gibbons and partner Gary Goodlad said issues with the road outside their pub and the cost of living crisis had made the business “non-financially viable”.

The Swan Inn, Knowle Sands. Photo: Google

The couple last year said they were "seriously considering" closing the pub due to the challenges they currently faced.

Among them was the "dangerous” nature of the B4555, which they say puts customers off from coming to the pub as "pedestrians have to walk towards oncoming vehicles on their walk from Eardington” and poses “a threat to highway safety”.

The couple decided they wanted to build a mixture of “open market housing, affordable housing, pub letting and owner accommodation” at the rear of the pub, to allow them to bring in more income.

In a supporting statement, they said the scheme was part of plans to make the pub business financially viable, which included partitioning the ground floor of the existing building, and turning the inn into an “evening and weekend pub”.

Gary Goodlad of the Swan Inn on the 'dangerous' B4555

Kay told the Shropshire Star: “There is no need for a pub in this location when there are so many other possibilities in Eardington and Bridgnorth that are more central to a customer base. Change of use would give access to reduced costs such as residential electricity tariff, no business rates, much cheaper insurance, no requirement for various licences, accountancy fees et cetera."