We can’t stop housing plans says Shropshire Council

Councillors have reluctantly approved a host of new housing developments because of contentious five-year land supply rules. 

Members approved the applications despite describing different plans as “awful”, “horrendous” and “dangerous”.

Shropshire Council’s central planning committee approved several applications during a four-hour meeting at Shirehall yesterday. The councillors said they were unhappy with the location and principle of development but felt they had no option but to let the schemes through.

They said refusing applications would leave the council liable to having their decisions overturned on appeal, costing taxpayers’ money through having to pay legal costs for developers.

Because of a current lack of available housing land, Government guidelines mean there has to be a presumption in favour of sustainable development in the county.

An outline application for 19 properties on land off Falklands Road in Dorrington was the first to be approved, despite concerns about the site’s proximity to the A49.

Councillor Peter Nutting said: “I don’t like this application, it is awful.”

Also passed for Dorrington were outline applications for two houses each at land at Jubilee Farm and land off Limes Paddock – both opposed by Condover Parish Council,.

A full planning application for nine houses off Pulley Lane in Bayston Hill was also approved. Councillor Kevin Pardy, who voted against the application, said he could not support it as he considered the access arrangements “dangerous”.

Also approved was an application for outline planning permission for a yet-to-be determined number of houses opposite The Crescent in Nesscliffe, two detached properties at Bicton Hall in Bicton, and an outline application for one house in Dorset Street, Shrewsbury.

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Comments for: "We can’t stop housing plans says Shropshire Council "

Terry

We should get rid of Councillors playing any part in planning. The decisions are and should be made on expert opinion and although Councillors are supposed to be the democratic contribution in reality they just like hindering progress, treating the planning process as a game and quite often have a personal hidden agenda.

As to the democratic aspect they just pretend to represent a minority view most of the time based on BANANA or NIMBY input.

We would have more attention paid to design and infrastructure if our planning system was not constantly delayed and influenced by unqualified busybodies.

Woody65

I would be interested in your definition of the acronym BANANA? That's a new one for me.

Oliver

Terry can you tell me the facts you base your observations upon?

Nick, Telford

As a result of national protests about the National Planning Policy Framework, councils and developers have been told in the last month that they MUST prioritise brownfield sites before encroaching on green belt. They must also consider the impact any new homes will have on on existing traffic and infrastructure. This is a complete volte-face by the government and has angered developers. Thus it is not true for Shropshire planners to claim they are powerless to stop speculative developments. They can so long as they can provide alternative brownfield (formerly used) sites in the vicinity and prove a detrimental impact on existing traffic flows and infrastructure. They are using the NPPF as an excuse to blame the government for not vetoing unsuitable developments.

Roger

All new housing developments should be suspended until the problems associated with access to the town centre are resolved. Most of these applications are a matter of land banking because Shrewsbury has been identified as a growth area for commuters as a part of the M54 corridor. By acquiring and obtaining planning permission the value of the land will rise in expectation of future demand.

Unfortunately the development of the infrastructure required to support the housing developments does not exist. Nor does the Town or County have the resources to provide it. The result of over development of housing will choke the Town and congest the existing infrastructure. By government decree that now looks inevitable.

The infrastructure should precede the housing. This was demonstrated by Telford where the famous roads to nowhere were built for developments that were often years apart, but the principle is right. Shrewsbury tackled the problem decades ago when it produced the "H" plan. It was rejected on the grounds of cost and being over ambitious but little was done to prepare for the future in place of it.

Now we have reached the point where substantial expenditure is required to enable the growth of the town on either brown or green field sites. It is complicated by the need to preserve the character of the town centre and expand access to it for a growing population. Then it is even more difficult because the town is contained with the loop of the river Severn and having all public transportation hubs within the loop and across the only dry access at a pinch point. The two major pinch points being the Welsh bridge and the Station Gyratory system connected together by a single road which is also the main access to the car parking for the town and the bus station. We have a public transport system which is so expensive that it forces everybody into their cars and into the pinch points. Even the Park and Ride systems are dependant on road transport subject to the same pinch points.

So we need a master plan to provide the infrastructure that can support the growth without destroying the town centre of leaving log jammed for most of the day. That means removing all through traffic from inside the loop and reducing traffic into the centre by a shift to public transport and removing the transport hubs from within the loop.At the same time we have to open the town to tourists and visitors.

Looking at the local transport plan most of things required have been identified but not implemented. The North West Link road and the Parkway Station are too good examples. Instead we are proposing to titivate road junctions to carry more traffic rather than removing the traffic. Building a thousand houses will only add to the problem so we need to attract some real funding for the big schemes as a part of the regional development plan. If we don't solve the infrastructure we will lose jobs because the town is inaccessible and fail to attract businesses because we can't service them. If the commuters can't commute we will not attract them and they will not spend their earnings here. The houses will not be in demand.

The Town is at a cross roads we can either expand and grow within an improved infrastructure or stagnate to a poverty survival economy of servicing the tourist trade. A museum of what the UK looked like historically. A curiosity.

If the government wants housing and a stimulated economy it has got to put the investment in.

Sadly I think we do not have the leadership in the Local Authority to produce the plan or make the argument so it looks like we are closing for business and closing for people. Our young will need to seek their careers and futures elsewhere. This the result of under investment for decades. I think it is time we got our slice of the national cake. It's our turn now.

Cj

they could stop it, they could all vote no, it may still go through on appeal but a point will have been made and they'll atleast have shown some backbone and principles or also they could stop it by as requested by the govermnet simply making 5 years worth of land available for development, they have 4.9 i believe, so they simply need to nomiated a couple of fields somewhere anywhere in the county and then they are ok, why dont they do it?? I beleive its actual a deliberate conspirary by the councillors to get more houses built in posh villages they know they would never get elected if they voted for them, so they deliberately engineered a solution by breaking the govermnets planning rules on the five year rule then everything gets waved through

Oliver

CJ your wrong about the conspiracy. Councillors do say no, applications do go to appeal and more often than not the council lose the appeals which cost thousands of pounds. Councillors are more sensitive to working within planning rules, because if they don't money is wasted on appeals, money that could be used on saving adult centres, children's care etc.

Don't blame the planning committee, maybe you should take a closer look at why council officers seek approval of applications.

Terry

Build

Absolutely

Nothing

Anywhere

Near

Anything

Roger

I am all for growth and development but I am also in favour of planning. Planning is more than the colour, shape and lay out it is about how the infrastructure evolves to serve the developments. It's about roads, railways, sewers, water supplies electricity distribution gas pipes, education, public transport systems and health services. Just building houses in isolation will overload the infrastructure which takes longer to build than the houses.

I want Shrewsbury to grow into a city and declare UDI from Shropshire so that the people who live here control what the council do and are answerable to people. If Shrewsbury can succeed the county will follow. If the county squeeze everything out of the town the county will fail. The same is true of all of all of Shropshire's Towns. Planning is the key, the most vital role of the government at all levels from Whitehall to the Village hall.

Developers don't build towns they build bank balances.

Terry

Professionally trained and qualified planning officers base their recommendations on Government policy, expert opinion, previous discussion/negotiation with applicant and not popularity ratings with the local electorate or personal grievances, or made up problems with site etcetera.

Councillors are not more sensitive to potentials costs of losing appeals as they do not personally suffer hence this Council having paid out massive costs in the last few years despite being repeatedly warned by officers that this would be the consequence of their belligerence.

We have the huge incinerator appeal costs when reneging on a prior deal made with the same Council and the silly Princess House shop fronts strop to name just two.

edski675

It's no good Councillor Nutting and his colleagues complaining. Who is responsible for Shropshire not having a 5 year land supply?If Councillor Nutting and his colleagues had developed a more sensible policy years ago, we probably wouldn't be in the mess we're in now.

A Real Business M man

Something that everyone seems to be missing, why are the government releasing so much land to build on within the Shire counties, do we in Shropshire honestly believe that we are going to fill the thousands of properties within Shropshire with youngsters looking for their first homes, the answer is not.

It is documented that Boris Mayor of London made a statement some time ago that he wanted to sell off all the social housing within the more affluent areas of London in order to capitalise on the land value and to reinvest that money into an already very rich capital.

On asking what do you propose to do with the residents the answer was ship them out to the Shire counties, so is this his wish the government releasing land to build within the Shires, the impact will be enormous, first all the social issue will travel with them, all the benefits and needs, their inner city culture, the face of the our county along with others will change and we will see again a minority voice becoming seen as the majority voice due to equality rights.

So beware, this boom of housing, bringing work for some within the Shropshire Towns will soon become the counties biggest headache, be warned, all those active in promoting the build build culture that do not have a vested interest, are they willing to pay the extra on council taxes to support what is going to be a massive influx from the cities to the county.

Terry

(On asking what do you propose to do with the residents the answer was ship them out to the Shire counties, )

Are you sure he said this or are you making it up.

Is Boris going to provide extensive transport for those low paid workers to travel from the shires to service the home owners in the capital then?

There is as much need and poverty in the small shire towns as there is in the big city so how would you be shipping any different problems to the shires than they already have, though it doesn't sound as if you have much knowledge of many families using food banks around here.