'Not a shred of evidence' that extra Bridgnorth business land is needed, says boss
A businessman who manages one of the region's major building suppliers has said there is "not a shred of evidence" that land is needed for new firms in Bridgnorth.
Henry Carver, a member of the Save Bridgnorth Greenbelt Group and managing director of Carvers Building Supplies in Wolverhampton, made the comments in response to Shropshire Council's controversial plans to build hundreds of homes and 40 hectares of business land at Stanmore.
Mr Carver has questioned the need for new employment land, arguing that Bridgnorth already has available plots that have not been taken up, and added that Telford will often prove more popular with large firms due to its transport links.
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A consortium behind the plans for Stanmore has argued greenbelt land must be released for the town to thrive, something Mr Carver has firmly rejected.
He said: “We have evidence to show that there are 18.3 hectares of undeveloped industrial land ready to go at Tasley, Chartwell, Stanley Lane and Stanmore. At Stanmore in addition, they have an advertised 64,000 ft2 of warehouses standing empty.
Significant question marks
“Much of this designated employment land has been available for over 15 years with no large new manufacturers coming to Bridgnorth. The total current land available is 45 acres. The consortium are proposing to release a further 40 acres with not a shred of evidence that it will be needed."
Mr Carver added: "Telford, just 15 minutes down the road, has 400 acres ready to go and 350 acres after 2031 and has the advantage of M54 logistics, a mainline rail station and it is an impressive industrial hub with lower rates. Bridgnorth, by comparison, has poor logistics with no major infrastructure and no evidence of future funding being made available for improvements."
The businessman said there were significant question marks over claims that the development could create 2,000 jobs.
The website advertising the Stanmore project states: "Bridgnorth suffers from a shortage of homes and a new village would provide high-quality housing including affordable properties, well-designed green spaces and improvements to the country park, to make it a great place to live.
"To build on the success of Stanmore Business Park there is also an opportunity to deliver a new employment site. This can provide new skilled jobs, space for growing local businesses, as well as attract new inward investment and retain existing major employers giving them space to expand."