Consultant warns Shropshire Council's planning policy may be challenged

Shropshire Council's approach to guiding development in towns and villages could be challenged in the future as being too simplistic.

Consultant warns Shropshire Council's planning policy may be challenged

The warning comes from planning consultant Helen Howie, at Berrys, who believes the "planning by numbers" exercise parish councils are encouraged to complete by Shropshire Council may not fit national planning policy.

Council planning chiefs today insisted Shropshire Council takes a "positive approach" to supporting sustainable developments.But Ms Howie said: "This numbers game may no longer prove acceptable.

"Evidence from other local authorities suggests that the Planning Inspectorate is clamping down on this simplistic approach to planning."

Shropshire Council has encouraged villages to choose the number of new houses they wish to accept over the next 11 years, up until 2026.

Whether this "housing guideline" is for 50 or 500 houses, the local councils clearly expect it to be a line in the sand beyond which they do not wish to go.

But Mrs Howie today warned: "There are signs the policy is incompatible with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)."

Berrys will be representing clients at the examination into Shropshire Council's SAMDev Plan over October and November.

Councillor Mal Price, Shropshire Council portfolio holder for planning, housing and commissioning (Central) said: "Shropshire Council continues to take a positive approach to supporting sustainable development in line with the National Planning Policy Framework and our emerging Development Management Policy (MD3) explains the circumstances in which guidelines for settlement growth over the plan period might be exceeded.

"As one of the authors the draft policies while employed at the council, I am sure Mrs Howie will be familiar with the approach the council is seeking to implement.

"Many Shropshire communities remain in support of the need to provide new housing over the plan period, it is speculative planning applications and the potential cumulative impacts of these that tend to be controversial."

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