Plans for houses at Craven Arms beauty spot thrown out
A beauty spot near the site of an old Iron Age hillfort in Shropshire has been saved from development after plans for 14 houses were thrown out.
Plans to build large three to four bedroom homes at the unofficial the northern "gateway" to Craven Arms, on land known locally as The Rough, were refused by Shropshire Council's South Planning Committee at a meeting at Shirehall.
The land off Corvedale Road is next to where an old hillfort known as Norton Camp once stood, but developers said they had amended the plans so that they did not encroach on the archaeological site.
Stuart Taylor, speaking for developers Norton Estates, said the proposal would fit in with a call for the redevelopment of the northern entrance to the town.
But despite being recommended to grant permission, councillors were unanimous against the proposal.
Committee member Councillor Andy Boddington said: "This site is a gateway, but not in the way developers suggest."
He said the site was a way into the Shropshire hills, popular with hill walkers.
"There are open fields in front of you that haven't changed in centuries, and you will lose those gateways. There are major objections about putting this on the edge (of Craven Arms) and in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty."
He said such sites were only supposed to be built upon where there was exceptional need.
"This is not exceptional, it's executive, speculative housing," he said.
Councillor David Turner agreed, saying: "This is a very special spot and it would be a great shame to see it developed."
Councillors were told the site was initially put forward for Shropshire Council's five-year SAMDev plan for housing in the county, but was not carried forward because of objections by Craven Arms Town Council.
Councillor Gwilym Butler said: "As we have a SAMDev plan for 350 houses in the Craven Arms area, why do we need any more?"
Councillor Heather Kidd added that the development was driven by the speculative sale of the houses and not by the needs of the town.
Others worried about access to the site. Cllr Madge Shineton said the site was "not appropriate", next to the "very fast" Corvedale Road.
"I think that's a problem waiting to happen," she said.
She said the assertion that Severn Trent Water would be required to ensure adequate drainage was not enough.
"I want to see some proper planning to see how it is possible," she added.
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