Plans to bring in a new sheltered seating area and outdoor food serving hatch have been approved for one of Oswstry’s most historic pubs, sparking hope it will be reopened imminently.

The Bell Inn in Church Street has had a turbulent couple of years, being shut for months, before briefly opening and then closing again earlier this year.

But it appears to be set to be given a fresh lease of life by Star Pubs and Bars which has successfully applied for planning permission for the changes.

Melanie Williams, Shropshire Council planning case officer, said: “The proposal is for the erection of a sheltered seated area, fixed seating and improvements to rear beer garden; increase in size of window in kitchen area to act as a serving hatch to the external area and internal and external redecoration affecting a Grade II listed building.

“The application property is a Grade II listed public house located on the east side of Church Street and within Oswestry Town Conservation Area. 

“The property is two storey and dates back to the 15th century. It was originally a house now an inn and was remodelled in the late 18th century, with later additions/alterations. 

“The building is constructed of rendered brick concealing the original timber frame with slate roof. 

“The area to the rear includes a car park, grassed area and patio.

“The property is located within the town centre and as a result is surrounded by typical town centre business premises.”

She added: “The application proposes a number of relatively minor alterations and additions to the rear curtilage of this grade II listed property including; addition of a sheltered seating area with fixed seating plus new lighting and heat lamps; two new enclosed seating booths; an area of outdoor fixed seating and cosmetic additions in terms of floor and boundary treatments. 

“Internally and to the frontage work will involve mostly re-decoration in keeping with the premises and the surroundings with the additional proposal to increase the opening of an existing window to the kitchen area to provide a serving hatch.

“The alterations and additions proposed in this application are considered to preserve the historic fabric and character of the listed building and are therefore considered acceptable and in line with the policies.”

Meanwhile, a separate applications by Stars Pubs and Bars to place new signage, menu case and amenity boards on the property, have received the support of Oswestry town councillors.

Councillor Barry Edwards said: "Anything that we can do to see this pub reopened would be good to see."