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Campaign starts to fund legal battle against Shropshire Council over Shifnal development plans

By Rory Smith | Shifnal | Property | Published:

An action group has started a campaign to raise £5,000 to help provide aid in a legal battle against Shropshire Council.

Lisa Parkes, Lee Hubbard and John Moore from Shifnal Matters

Shifnal Matters is raising the money in order to help fund a planning consultant and legal representation ahead of the next stage in the council's Local Plan Review.

Consultation on whether 2,000 homes should be built in Shifnal is set to continue in the first quarter of 2020, before Shropshire Council's final proposals go before a planning inspector.

Shifnal Matters said it is at this point it may need to "pull resources together" with other groups opposing the plans to submit a response.

John Moore, committee member of the group, said: "We're raising money through a number of events for planning advice from a consultant and legal representations should it come to that.

"It's going to cost a lot of money so to be realistic it's very unlikely we'll be able to afford to launch ourselves into full representation, but we may be able to coordinate people and pull together the resources needed to get our views heard when it matters.

"A cost of £200,000 is a minimum estimate. Some judicial review actions with developers have gone up to £500,000.

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"So realistically I don't think we can raise that sort of money, but we can partner with others that oppose the plans in Shropshire to pull our resources together for some professional advice."

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Shifnal is subject to a big expansion of 1,500 homes and a 40-hectare business site on greenbelt land and in neighbouring Tong, Bradford Estates is planning to build 3,000 homes and 50 hectares of employment land on a greenbelt site off junction three of the M54.

Meanwhile in Bridgnorth, Stanmore is subject to 850 homes and a large section of business land up until 2036 and 650 more homes post 2036.

Those wanting to donate can do so by visiting goldengiving.com/wall/shifnal-matters

Shifnal Matters formed in November 2018 to fight proposals outlined in Shropshire Council's Local Plan View.

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The group was faced with further challenges in March this year when a consultation was launched in relation to a 3,000-home development in Tong, along with a further 50 hectares of employment land.

Since then, members of the campaign group have rallied together, organising protests and conducting independent research on infrastructure and collating opinions of residents to contribute to Shropshire Council's ongoing consultation.

The group's efforts have gained the support of councillors in the area, with former Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard pledging his support.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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