Plan for 50 homes near Wem level crossing is thrown out

Plans to build 50 homes near Wem level crossing have been thrown out by a Government planning inspector following an appeal.

Wem level crossing
Wem level crossing

Ian Radcliffe ruled the proposal for land between Aston Road and Church Lane in Wem would not fit in with the development plan and would not be sustainable.

It follows concerns about the effect on the rural setting of the town and the impact of having homes built close to a level crossing.

The applicants launched the appeal in a bid to overturn Shropshire Council’s decision to refuse the scheme.

The plans were initially given permission at a meeting of the council’s north planning committee, subject to planning conditions.

But after changes to Shropshire Council’s development plan, which is also known as SAMDev, the scheme was turned down.

Mr Radcliffe said: “The proposal would not accord with the development plan as a whole. I therefore find that the proposal cannot be considered to be a sustainable development.

“The loss of the open undeveloped nature of the field to built development would have a significant adverse effect on the character and appearance of the countryside, landscape and the rural setting of Wem.”

“The location of a significant number of new houses on this side of the railway line would not improve the way that the town functions. This is a consideration that counts against the development.”

The applicants, a consortium of developers, insisted the homes would bring economic benefits to the town.

But Wem Train Station Safer Group objected to the plans after fearing the impact it would have on the town’s level crossing, which has been the subject of signal and equipment faults in recent times.

More than 100 letters of objection and a 78-signature petition were received by Shropshire Council.

Residents and councillors raised concerns that the area will not be able to accommodate extra traffic, that the development is “out of place”, and could increase the risk of flooding.

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Comments for: "Plan for 50 homes near Wem level crossing is thrown out"

Roger

I strikes me that Wem Level crossing needs to be replaced with a bridge but everywhere around it has been developed right up to the railway so no room for a new road.

At the same time I accept that Wem needs to grow and houses need to go somewhere. I would be inclined to put an east side by pass in from the Shrewsbury road to the Whitchurch road with a railway bridge including a new station and railway park and ride. The road could be constructed in stages by developers as they build new houses starting from south and building up to the north.

As I see it Wem could develop as a dormitory town for Shrewsbury and beyond in one direction and to Manchester in the other. The town itself seems to be too small in population to support the services it has so is losing them. The banks are closing and the swimmingpool struggling. It has the schools which can be expanded without high costs and impacts and that is the only thing that needs to be done to support enough growth to keep existing services and shops going. Improved access to the east of Wem seems to me to be nothing but desirable, and a north south by pass would improve the ability of people to use the town centre even pedestrianise it. I think it would be a good model for housing growth to sustain these small towns.