'Serious misgivings' over housing plan as Bridgnorth's Shropshire Councillors vote both ways

Councillors have outlined their reasons for voting on Shropshire Council's controversial housing plan – with one in a particularly affected area expressing his "serious misgivings".

Votes were cast for and against sending the Local Plan forward to the Government inspector by councillors representing Bridgnorth and the surrounding parishes.

The document was passed by 34 votes to 28 – with five abstentions.

It sets out where thousands of homes and businesses can be built in every part of the county up until 2038, and has generated major opposition in several towns – particularly Bridgnorth and Shifnal.

It includes plans for more than 1,000 homes to be built in Tasley as part of a 'garden village'.

Labour Councillor Julia Buckley, who represents Bridgnorth West & Tasley, voted against sending it through along with her Tory counterpart Councillor Les Winwood.

Councillor Winwood said: "I have serious misgivings over certain parts of this plan and especially where it affects the wards I represent of Tasley and Bridgnorth West. There is so much wrong about what we are being asked to accept."

An amendment submitted by Councillor Buckley to pause development and review the infrastructure in areas which exceed five per cent growth in five years was turned down.

Councillor Winwood added: "The Tasley Garden Village development does not guarantee the sort of infrastructure that would be required to sustain such a large development, and it is very sketchy as to what actually would be provided and at what stage."

Tory Councillor Richard Marshall, who represents Worfield – and is also the authority's lead for physical infrastructure, highways and built housing – voted to submit the proposals, along with party colleague Councillor Kirstie Hurst-Knight, who represents Bridgnorth East and Astley Abbotts.

The pair said they had "extreme concern" that if the council did not have a five-year housing plan, as required under national rules, it could result in a "free for all" for developers to build in both Tasley and Stanmore.

Conservative Councillor Christian Lea, who represents Bridgnorth East & Astley Abbotts, voted against submitting the plan, as did former Conservative councillor for Brown Clee, Robert Tindall – who, as a result, was sacked from his position on the Southern Planning Committee and changed his allegiance to Independent.

Councillor Dan Thomas, representing Much Wenlock, and Councillor Dave Tremellen, representing Highley, were unable to attend the meeting due to illness.

Councillor Elliott Lynch, who represents Alveley and Claverley, was contacted for comment.

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