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Shropshire poultry sheds plan back despite High Court ruling

South Shropshire | News | Published:

Poultry sheds for 216,000 birds in the south Shropshire countryside may go ahead after all – despite permission being quashed by the High Court.

Residents in the Clungunford area are astonished that despite apparently winning a legal battle with Shropshire Council over the bid for four sheds at nearby Hopton Heath, the development now looks set to be approved anyway.

Proposals due to go before Shropshire Council's south planning committee on Tuesday are virtually unaltered from the plans that were quashed just months ago – and are once again recommended for approval.

Clungunford Parish Council went to the courts to call for a judicial review after the south planning committee approved the poultry sheds on 6.15 acres at Heath Farm in December. Jonathan Roberts, Clungunford Parish Council chairman, said the plans were "steam-rollered through" and had residents in tears, with 64 objections lodged and parish residents clubbing together to raise money to fight the plans in the courts in June.

But Shropshire Council did not put up a fight and simply conceded to a quashing of the planning permission by the courts.

The permission was scrapped on a technicality, as councillors had granted it despite not having a final formal response from environmental body Natural England.

A planning report to be considered by councillors on Tuesday says the development should be looked at "as if it were a new application" but notes "there have been no material changes", and the judicial review related "specifically" to the dealings with Natural England.

It recommends the sheds go ahead but with extra conditions for monitoring of water quality and a legal agreement to put ecological "mitigation measures" in place.

Councillor Roberts said if it was granted again, the parish council would seek another judicial review. He said: "It's very sad that a parish council should have to adopt this attitude to Shropshire Council."

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