Shropshire Star

'They lack identity and distinctiveness' - civic society joins residents in slamming mini estate plans

Civic watchdogs in Shrewsbury have slammed the 'low design aspirations' of a potential new housing development on the edge of town.

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Locals are also in uproar over plans for 44 homes on a site off Ellesmere Road because they say that the route is already far too busy.

Now Shrewsbury Civic Society has got involved in the debate, attacking the 'low design aspirations' of development in the area.

Michael Dinneen, of Shrewsbury Civic Society, says: "We are very concerned about the low design aspirations of much of the new housing that is being built on the edges of Shrewsbury.

"Many people at local and national level agree on the poor quality of new suburban estates, particularly those provided by large developers. But little is done with a few exceptions locally that stand out for their character and visual appeal."

Picture: Living Space Housing

He adds that with the council's commitment to a high growth option until 2038, the issue of housing quality is "ever more pressing and should be a top priority.

"We are creating the places of the future," he said.

He adds that the houses planned off Cedars Drive are "too uniform in scale, form and appearance. They lack identity and distinctiveness."

Applicant Living Space Housing has designed the scheme to be composed entirely of affordable properties available for sale or rent via a social housing provider. It is a specialist affordable housing firm based in Solihull.

Following pre-application discussions with council planners the developers reduced the number of proposed homes from 49 to 44. They say the extra space has improved the design.

In their supporting documents the planning agents for the developer say the building and design features are 'locally distinctive and innovative and positively contribute to the character, appearance and local identity of an area.

"The scheme has been revised following the detailed design comments received from the case officer to ensure the current proposals meet and exceed design aspirations of the council," they add.

So far 26 members of the public have commented on the plans on the council's website, with 25 against. They say the plans are 'unsustainable' because of the extra traffic it would generate.

One objector says: "In the absence of a completed North West Relief Road 90 extra vehicles is unsustainable on an already overstretched Ellesmere Road.

"It is also unsustainable on Cedars Road, which will now become the main road for what is a very significant development when both sites are combined."

Another states: "A proposal for densely packed social housing appears to be nothing more than a cynical attempt to obtain planning permission without any realistic consideration to the adequacy of the local infrastructure."

And a resident on Cedars Drive adds that they already have a "dangerous T junction with traffic speeding along Ellesmere Road around a dangerous bend towards the town."

The area has, they say, seen cars "ending up upside down further down Ellesmere Road and 'constant speeding endangering pedestrians and cyclists support this'.

Shropshire Council will decide on the plans in due course. The plan is out for public comment on the website with the reference number 24/01887/FUL.

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