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Church Stretton ancient meadow rescue fund exceeds target

By Charlotte Bentley | Church Stretton | Environment | Published:

A fighting fund to save an ancient meadow in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from development has exceeded its £4,000 target.

The Shropshire Hills with Church Stretton in the distance

The Save Snatchfield group aims to use the money to pay for legal aid to fight plans for 70 homes on the site in Church Stretton.

Its target of £4,000 was exceeded by an extra £1,000 and the group has now asked people to stop giving donations as professional planning consultants have been employed to help them oppose the plans.

The Save Snatchfield Group was created to protect ancient meadowland in Church Stretton after Shropshire Council's Local Plan proposed housing on the site.

Members urged the council to use the consultation time to rethink the plans and use brownfield sites instead of land on the AONB.

A council has to have 'exceptional circumstances' to build on protected land, which the council claims it has and will be supported by evidence.

Expert

Patrick Wood, from the Save the Snatchfield group, said thank you to everyone who had donated.

"The response shows how much feeling there is about the possibility of building 70 houses on this ancient meadow," he said.

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"Professional planning consultants have now been employed to help the group in opposing Shropshire Council's plans and we urge anybody interested in saving this area of outstanding natural beauty to object by September 30, which is the closing date.

"An expert, Dr Ian Dormer, has written a report that confirms the site is not just an ancient meadow, but in fact two ancient meadows. The council is maintaining it has exceptional circumstances to pursue the planned development, the Save Snatchfield Group will oppose this.

"Planning permission has been turned down no less than seven times and once an appeal was made to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the inspector said, and we quote ‘The development of this land would therefore be detrimental to the landscape quality of this Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.

"The group maintains unless any material changes have taken place the appeal should surely still stand."

Visit savesnatchfield.org for more information.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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