Public see plans for homes near Oswestry's Iron Age hillfort
Residents turned out for a public consultation on controversial plans to build homes near the foot of Shropshire's landmark Iron Age hillfort.
The open session was held at Oswestry's Guildhall following a visit to the historic hillfort, which is a a statutorily protected Scheduled Ancient Monument.
The session was organised by Oswestry Town Council after campaigners raised fears the proposals would detract from the site.
Andy Roberts, who is working on plans for the landowner of Oldport Farm, one of the proposed development sites, said some members of the public had taken advantage of the day to visit the hillfort.
More than 6,000 people have objected to plans to build 188 homes near the Iron Age hillfort. The plans would see homes built near the foot of the hill, which is rumoured to be the birthplace of King Arthur's wife, Guinevere, and is protected by English Heritage.
The homes would be built off Gobowen Road and Oldport Farm.
Mr Roberts said: "It's been a useful day. From our point of view it was about providing information to the various people who weren't previously party to some of the plans. It was useful to go out on site with the packet of information so people could see with their own eyes. I think a number of people in the town have the idea that the hillfort is being developed, but it's not – it's land near the foot of the hillfort, not the hillfort itself."
The drop-in session followed talks between Oswestry Town Council, Selattyn and Gobowen Parish Council, Shropshire Council and Oswestry Civic Society, as well as members of the Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort campaign.
But John Waine from the Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort group said he was disappointed by the day. "I found it frustrating primarily because English Heritage were not here," he said. "In truth I didn't learn anything that I didn't know before."
The proposals have been made under Shropshire Council's SAMDev plan to earmark preferred sites for new development.
More than 6,000 people have signed an online petition against the plans for the site, seen as one of the most significant hillforts in the world.
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