At long last, there is visible good news about this historic eyesore at the gateway to Much Wenlock.
Back in July 2016 I wrote about Shropshire Council issuing a “Section 215” notice on the owners requiring them to put this Grade II listed property into good order. No work was apparently carried out, but doubtless this powerful legal tool – rarely used by most local authorities – prompted the owners to submit a planning application for the garden that was likely to be favourably received. I wrote about this in March 2017, including some illustrations of the proposals. The planning application was approved in October 2017 and I included photographs of the wilderness of the garden in my article on this topic.
No action was taken apart from removal of some vegetation which was overhanging the footway in 2018. Then towards the end of last year it became apparent that a group of local businessmen were negotiating to purchase the freehold of the property with the benefit of the planning consent for three houses in the garden – and with the liability of the Section 215 still hanging over the dilapidated house. The news of the purchase has been well-received by residents and the even better news was the arrival of workmen on site who proceeded to clear the land of decades of unmanaged growth.
The brambles and hawthorn have been reduced to woodchip, and some of the detritus has been removed from the property.
The driveway has been levelled so that contractors’ vehicles have easy access.
Now, further planning and listed building applications have just been submitted (ref 19/00155/FUL and 19/00156/LBC) to change No.40 to being divided into two three-bedroomed town houses, each with its own separate access (front and rear) along with a garden and parking for 2+ vehicles. The other change proposed from the current planning permission is the proposal that the semidetached new “barn” units are moved 4m north up the site.
The refurbishment of Pinefield is being funding by the ultimate sale of three new dwellings to be built in the garden, a construction phase that will take some time, unfortunately. Nonetheless, the restoration of this property at an important gateway to the town is to be welcomed and one which I support.