Bridgnorth planning group feels 'largely ignored' in controversial development talks

The chairman of a community planning group has written to Shropshire Council expressing concern over future development plans in a town.

An artist's impression of what Tasley Garden Village could look like
An artist's impression of what Tasley Garden Village could look like

Councillor Clive Dyson, who chairs the Bridgnorth Plan Steering Group, said he is "certain that Shropshire Council has not effectively involved the Bridgnorth community in its work towards the revised local plan".

It comes after Councillor Dyson, a member of Bridgnorth Town Council, questioned the soundness of the local plan, which sets out where housing and business land can be built throughout the county until 2038, at a recent cabinet meeting, but said his group's concerns were not answered.

In Bridgnorth, the planning document outlines more than 1,000 houses and at least 16 hectares of business land in the form of a garden village in Tasley, west of the town.

The town plan steering group is made up of interested parties and individuals in the area who have been working throughout the year to form a document containing the future needs of the town, including infrastructure to support sustainable development.

But having submitted its findings as part of the consultation on the local plan, Councillor Dyson said they have been "largely ignored".

Constructive

In a letter to Councillor Robert Macey, Shropshire Council's lead for housing and strategic planning, Councillor Dyson said: "I can find little evidence of any changes to the local plan to reflect our inputs, except possibly that the need for a strategic highways assessment has been recognised.

"Overall, I am certain that Shropshire Council has not effectively involved the Bridgnorth community in its work towards the revised local plan.

"Our reports have contained constructive and workable ways in which the local plan could have progressed, with sufficient dwellings approved around Bridgnorth to meet Shropshire Council's obligation for a 10-year land bank, while carrying out a new site assessment to seek a better approach than either of the proposed garden villages on the edge of our historic market town.

"I'd like to stress that we are not against development around Bridgnorth and have proposed a justifiable level of growth and a way in which a range of alternative locations can be considered.

"That would include more time to review the proposed Tasley Garden Village in more detail and demonstrate that adequate infrastructure could be provided and financed."

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