Bridgnorth's county councillors 'astounded' over major housing plan set for approval
All of Bridgnorth's "extremely cross" county councillors have voiced their concerns over plans set to be approved for more than 1,000 homes near the town.
Shropshire Council's officers have recommended that proposals for 1,050 homes and a business site as part of a garden village in Tasley are approved.
This means that an alternative scheme for 850 homes as part of a similar development in Stanmore would be axed.
The recommendation is being made in Shropshire Council's local plan update, which sets out where homes and business land can be built up until 2038. It sets a target of building 30,800 homes in Shropshire over the lifespan of the plan.
But all of Bridgnorth's representatives on Shropshire Council, councillors Les Winwood and Elliot Lynch, who represent Bridgnorth West & Tasley, councillors William Parr and Christian Lea, who represent Bridgnorth East & Astley Abbotts, and Robert Tindall, of Brown Clee, said they were "astounded" plans for Stanmore had not been fully included in the report set to go before cabinet on July 20.
Speaking on behalf of the group, councillor Winwood said: "All of us are extremely cross about the proposal by officers to put to the cabinet referencing the plans for housing in Bridgnorth.
"In line with the views of many of our residents in Bridgnorth, Tasley, Morville, The Lye and Underton, we are opposed to the selection of Tasley Garden Village (TGV) over Stanmore Garden Village (SGV).
"We feel SGV was more professional, upfront and ready to go on land in ownership – we are astounded that officers have not included the Stanmore submission in the report."
Councillors' concerns with TGV centre around the volume of housing affecting traffic, wildlife, and the livestock auction centre on Wenlock Road.
Councillor Winwood said: "It is inescapable that there will be a large number of commuters to the Black Country region. Placing development on the right side of the river, to the east, would assist traffic movements to Telford, Kidderminster, Wolverhampton and Stourbridge, preventing Bridgnorth roads from becoming gridlocked.
"Placing development in Stanmore would also prevent a sprawl of housing into open countryside at Tasley, which would heavily affect the wildlife corridor.
"SGV would have been attached to industry and more coherent with the West Midlands.
"There is also already an outstanding plan for 500 homes under the old SAMDev document, running up until 2026, which allows the livestock market to relocate.
"If TGV is allowed it would seriously put our livestock market in jeopardy."
Other issues raised included the development's affect on mineral deposits.
"We also have concerns about conflict between houses and mineral deposits beneath Morville Heath and Bridgwalton at Tasley," councillor Winwood said.
He added: "It is our view that SGV is by far the best proposal for all of our residents.
"For the future of the livestock market and the SAMDev proposal still on the table, we will not give our support to TGV."