Development near Bridgnorth 'wouldn't justify GP surgery'

A potential site of 550 new homes on the outskirts of Bridgnorth would not justify a new GP surgery, the project manager behind the development has said.

Landowner Jon Hickman and project manager Nick Norbury
Landowner Jon Hickman and project manager Nick Norbury

Nick Norbury was speaking at a consultation event in relation to the Tasley Gateway development, which would mean relocating Bridgnorth Livestock Market and building hundreds of homes on land north and south of the A458.

Mr Norbury met health officials on Wednesday to discuss the potential of building a GP surgery in Tasley.

He said they didn't think the Tasley Gateway development alone would warrant an extra GP surgery, but that additional plans from Taylor Wimpey to build a 1,050-home garden village in the area could make it likely.

Mr Norbury said: "I had a really positive meeting with the GPs and they now want to go and talk to Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as they need to start putting plans in place that will accommodate the resulting demand for additional GP appointments that a development like ours will bring.

"They said they didn't think this development on its own would justify another surgery, but with the Taylor Wimpey garden village scheme – if that gets approved by the planning inspectorate – then that sort of quantum of housing on this side of Bridgnorth would probably need a surgery.

Landowner Jon Hickman and project manager Nick Norbury

"We can't make that happen but we will do everything we can to help. At the moment health officials didn't feel that was the case with our development alone."

The consultation event was held at the livestock market on Wenlock Road on Thursday, ahead of an outline planning application being submitted to Shropshire Council in September, which would see the market venue relocated to land south of the A458.

It was used to gather feedback from residents which should be used to influence the planning application.

Jenny Davies, 74, of Church Lane, which backs onto the development site, said: "A worry is that Church Lane is very narrow and very busy already.

"If there's any more traffic to be directed across this road there will definitely be a terrible accident.

"I can't see the sense of having this all on one side of the river. People will be wanting to go to Wolverhampton and Birmingham, it's going to be chaos – the GP surgeries and schools are already full."

Gwyn and Jenny Davies

She added: "When we moved here we knew development would take place. We had hoped it would be suitable for the area, whereas now it just suits the developers.

"I'd like to be proved wrong. I'd like to think the developers would consider the feelings of Bridgnorth residents in the surrounding area but I have my doubts.

"Combine this with Tasley Garden Village – it just goes from bad to worse.

"It's going to be a disaster area and tourists won't want to come here anymore.

"We have thought about moving and if it gets too bad I'm afraid we will."

Neighbours Bernard Ball and Jan Walker, of Marchwood Close, said the development was taking place on the wrong side of the River Severn.

The masterplan for Tasley Gateway Development

Jan, 82, a Bridgnorth resident of 20 years, said: "I think it's the wrong side of Bridgnorth, as on the opposite side you've got the M54, and the majority of people buying these three and four-bedroom will most likely be commuters from Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

"They'll have to travel all the way through town which isn't easy. It's obviously going to happen but it just doesn't make sense."

Bernard, 66, born and bred in Bridgnorth, said: "I know it could seem selfish as we back onto a field that will be developed, but we don't mind development. However, this just doesn't fit the area or make sense to me."

Jan added: "Traffic through Bridgnorth comes to a standstill now and they're building on the main car park as it is, where people are going to park I've no idea.

"It's sad because everything we've said also applies to the garden village development. This side of Bridgnorth is having to soak up both of these developments.

An artist's impression of how the Tasley Gateway Development could look

"A few hundred houses, fine, we've got no objection to that really, but more than 1,000 is just excessive."

Mr Norbury said that it would be Shropshire Council's job to decide on funding towards education and highways improvements in the area.

"In regards to schools, we'll be led on what Shropshire Council says to us in terms of potential financial contributions towards education infrastructure in Bridgnorth," he said.

"We're waiting to hear from them as to what that might be. Similarly if there are any impacts on highways elsewhere in Bridgnorth – there might be a roundabout somewhere on the other side of town that's affected by this development – then it will be Shropshire Council's job to agree with us whether we need to make a contribution towards any modification works that might need to be done."

Plans on display for the proposed development. Proposed Church Lane Square.
Plans on display for the proposed development. Central Park looking south.
Plans on display for the proposed development. Gateway and local centre from proposed roundabout.
Plans on display for the proposed development. Church Lane looking West.

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