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Dozens keen on Shropshire's new self-build homes bid

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

More than 100 people have registered an interest in buying Shropshire Council's first "self-build plots".

The project, which is based on six hectares of land at London Road, Shrewsbury, will provide space for about 45 people to build their own homes.

Nick Wood, Shropshire Council planning officer, said that the authority's planning department is currently in discussions over restrictions which could be imposed on the type of designs that will be acceptable for the site.

Similar projects in Holland have included a range of architectural styles.

Mr Wood said: "The initial idea is that the ones along London Road – immediately on the road – would perhaps be fairly representative of the vernacular of the area.

"We are in discussions about how liberal we can be in terms of design."

Ian Kilby, head of Shropshire Council's planning department, said that the planning department does not intend to stifle design.

He said: "I do not think we do enough to champion design quality.

"I do not think it is down to any one person, it is not the planning department saying no to innovation. I think it is an inherent conservatism in approach."

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Mr Wood said that there has been considerable interest in the plots so far and that they would appeal to a variety of different home builders.

He said: "They cover people who cannot afford to buy so needs are more functional – getting a roof over their head. There are also those who are more aspirational, who are wanting a more attractive looking home."

Mr Wood confirmed that the council will be taking part in discussions with residents on London Road about the project.

All plots include utilities connections and they are expected to be marketed later this year.

The site was included in Shropshire Council's development plan which was approved in December.

An Oxfordshire council launched the country's largest self-build scheme last year. The project, at former Ministry of Defence Land in Bicester, provides space for as many as 1,900 homes.

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