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South Shropshire playing field homes plan gets refused

South Shropshire | News | Published:

Plans to build houses on a former school playing field have been turned down, sparking hopes the fields may be kept for use by the community.

The fields, which used to serve Bishop Hooper Primary School, are among the few community resources left in the small south Shropshire village of Caynham, Shropshire Council's South Planning Committee heard yesterday.

Richard Huffer, Shropshire Councillor representing Clee, called the relocation of the primary school a "debacle".

Bishop Hooper School was only formed in 2009 when Caynham and Ashford Carbonell primary schools merged, but moved to Ashford Carbonell when a new £3 million site opened in 2011.

He said: "Unless you've had a school close in your division you can't understand the effect it has on the community.

"This is the last bit of land available to the community of Caynham for recreation. They have made an offer to save this land for future generations."

Paul Chester, speaking for villagers, said the land, although privately owned, had previously been managed by the Village Hall Committee.

Planning committee member Cllr Andy Boddington said it was a "biodiverse field" and that access was a problem.

But John Needham, speaking for the developers, said there had been no objections from any authority other than Caynham Parish Council.

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"The site is in private ownership and was leased to Shropshire Council for use as a playing field for the school," he said and Cllr John Hurst-Knight spoke up in defence of the application.

But Cllr Heather Kidd said the houses were not affordable or sustainable and

Cllr Gwilym Butler urged Mr Chester to ensure a community bid was put in immediately for the field if and when it was available.

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