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Developers ready to lodge appeals over Bishop's Castle housing plans

South Shropshire | News | Published:

Two appeals will be lodged over plans for houses in Bishop's Castle that were thrown out because of traffic fears.

Developers wanting to build homes on separate sites at Woodbatch Road and Lavender Bank have said they will both be taking their cases to the Planning Inspectorate.

They expect Shropshire Council's refusal to be overturned – and the authority to foot the bill for costs at the taxpayer's expense.

Stuart Taylor, planning consultant for the Woodbatch Road site, said there was growing unease among developers that more and more applications were being thrown out by councillors without the backing of their own planning officers.

Plans for 10 houses on Woodbatch Road were refused for a second time last week, along with a new application for houses on nearby Lavender Bank from another developer.

Both were turned down as Shropshire Council's south planning committee had worries about dangerous levels of congestion on Kerry Lane, which both sites link to.

But Mr Taylor, of Les Stephan Planning, said Shropshire Council's own planning officers had raised no such traffic concerns – and money from the new houses would be used to improve the road situation.

He said: "We're going to be putting in an appeal for each site, both running parallel. Both parties will be claiming costs against the council. The committee members were warned in no uncertain terms if it went to appeal this would be a cost situation. There was no planning reason to refuse it.

"It's happening quite a lot recently and, as a practice, we're concerned. Every time this happens it costs the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds. The members seem to be quite cavalier in playing to the gallery of objectors rather than listening to the expert advice for their own officers."

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But Charlotte Barnes, Shropshire councillor for Bishop's Castle and a planning committee member, said the right decision had been made.

She said: "The developers brought back these plans to the committee under a technicality. They still seem oblivious to the traffic mayhem that more housing would cause down Kerry Lane if their plans went through."

"This an important school route down a constricted, four metre-wide, sunken lane."

"The extra traffic caused both by construction traffic and the houses when built would make this road very dangerous for parents and children."

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