Controversial development would include bird boxes and river access, landowners say

A controversial housing estate proposal will include bird and bat boxes, a cycle route and wheelchair-friendly access to a river, the landowners have vowed.

An artist's impression of part of the development. Photo: Curtin & Co
An artist's impression of part of the development. Photo: Curtin & Co

The Healey Estate wants to build 90 homes on woodland and green space between the Tern Valley Business Park and existing homes in Market Drayton.

The plans have sparked lively opposition from people who live at Sherwood Crescent immediately to the east of the land, as well as from people who live elsewhere in Market Drayton and use the land for walk.

Representatives from the Healey Estate said that the Longford Turning development would include a woodland walk and that the feedback of residents will be considered.

A spokesman for the Healey Estate, speaking after a virtual exhibition on the plans was attended by more than 80 people, said: “It was fantastic that so many local residents were able to join us and view our emerging proposals for Longford Turning.

"Whilst we fully recognise the strength of feeling that exists from neighbouring residents, we do believe that there are two sides to every story and we are pleased that many of those who attended remain open-minded and have expressed support for what we are offering.

"By retaining the footpaths that already exist on the site, enhancing pedestrian links to allow residents to walk to work, making the River Tern accessible and disabled-friendly to local people, introducing new play areas for children, as well as delivering more affordable homes that we know are desperately needed, we continue to believe that Longford Turning is exciting and can be of benefit to both existing and future residents.

"We know that residents continue to have questions and concerns about what we are proposing and we do want to make Longford Turning the best that it can possibly be.

"That is why we will be looking at the feedback that we have received and adapting our proposals where possible. Only then will we look to submit a planning application.”

Dedicated cycling lane

The developers said they received positive feedback from members of the public after the presentation, expressing support new housing in the town.

A statement from the Healey Estate said: "We are aware that local residents use the private land between Sherwood Crescent and the Tern Valley Business Park. This land is owned by the Healey Estate, with this currently being leased to the council on a short term, rolling basis.

"Our proposals for Longford Turning are not just about the delivery of new and affordable homes for the town across a range of different types.

"It will also allow the existing community to access the River Tern as well as a range of facilities to enjoy. This includes at least three play areas and four public open spaces for residents to enjoy across the site; enhancements to the river valley with the creation of a new country park, ensuring that the existing community have both full access to the River Tern; new footpaths to the River Tern that are mobility-friendly, enabling all residents to access the River Tern in a safe and secure way; the creation of a formal and family friendly woodland walk; a dedicated cycle lane, linking the existing community to the Tern Valley Business Park; and the provision of much needed off road parking provision close to the riverbank.

"That being said, we fully recognise the strength of feeling that exists within the local community about potential development on this land. That is precisely why we organised an online public exhibition to fully set out the emerging proposals for the site.

"In addition to retaining the existing formal footpaths and rights of way that exist on site, the team are proposing to introduce a number of new links to enable residents to better access the River Tern."

A recording of the exhibition can be viewed online or obtained by emailing josephb@curtinandco.com, but if you do not have access to the internet, call 0207 399 2294 to request physical copies of the documents.

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