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Group created to steer Bridgnorth's future

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | News | Published:

A newly-formed steering group is set to create a plan for future development in Bridgnorth.

Bridgnorth High Street

Councillors and members of the community from in and around the area have started creating a new town plan to feed into Shropshire Council's Local Plan Review.

The document, last created in 2011, will aim to outline a future vision for Bridgnorth, focusing on its room for expansion and infrastructure needed to do so.

Once created, it will act as a response to the Local Plan Review towards the end of this year.

Bridgnorth Town Councillor and Morfe ward representative Clive Dyson said the group is now looking for community organisations, businesses, residents and dignitaries to contribute ideas and information in the limited time available.

"We're trying to bring a vision together for the town, so if you look at the next 20 to 30 years there will be something to go by," he said.

"We understand there are lots of strong opinions on various issues the town faces and we are inviting people from all sides to come sit on our working groups to focus on different areas such as transport, education and expansion capacity.

"The steering group will be tasked with developing, in consultation with the local community, a fairly short, consultation document, which should identify significant issues affecting the area and raise relevant questions and issues to be addressed."

In Shropshire Council's Local Plan Review, the Bridgnorth proposals include plans to build 1,500 homes and about 70 acres of employment land. Shropshire Council said sites have been found for 500 homes, but space for more than 900 is still needed.

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The council proposals are part of an overall plan to build 28,000 homes across the county up until 2036.

Councillor Dyson said: "An immediate advantage of this approach is that it will also provide Bridgnorth with a basis for responding to stage four of the Local Plan Review, which is expected towards the end of 2019."

He added that through grant funding, it is possible the town plan could be submitted as a Neighbourhood Plan, equal in status to Shropshire Council's Local Plan.

He added: "If such a document were voted on and accepted by residents and a planning examiner, it would achieve formal status of Neighbourhood Plan, which would have the same status as the Local Plan.

"However, this would incur significant costs, possibly £40k to £50k, although grants would be available."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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