A RESTAURANT owner hoping to transform an 18th century church has won the support of Oswestry councillors.
Paulo Lepone submitted plans to renovate the former Presbyterian church on Oswald Road to house his Italian restaurant, a cocktail bar and three separate flats.
The Lepones restaurant is currently based on Salop Road.
Mayor of Oswestry, Councillor Chris Schofield, said: “I welcome it because it’s bringing a redundant building into use.
“I’m sure it will be a fantastic restaurant like the one he has got.”
Cllr Martin Bennett also welcomed the “interesting proposal”.
But he warned that caution should be taken regarding soundproofing the flats from the restaurant and requested the council observe conservation comments regarding the removal of a front window to create a new disabled access ramp.
He continued: “The conservationist says it will upset the aesthetic on the front and would like work done to the existing ramp. But I’m not sure how they envisage disabled access being gained through the main door.
“It’s an old building but as you look at it it is massive and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
Members agreed to supporting the removal of the window if no alternative is available and also requested whether the building is listed.
The building, which was the Oswald Road Fine Furniture store, was previously suggested as a possible home for Oswestry’s first Muslim centre. However this was later abandoned by the town’s Muslim Society due to costs.